Police bust nine suspected traffic hoodlums
… Deny kidnap of two policemen in Lagos
Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command yesterday busted a traffic robbery syndicate with the arrest of three ‘one-chance’ robbery gangs and seven ‘pickpockets,’ who use Ajegunle as the base for their operations.
The RRS operatives also recovered two ‘Danfo’ buses used by the gangs for their operations along Oshodi-Mile 2 Expressway. The 14-seater buses with Lagos Registration Numbers KTU 716 XS and GGE 532 XL, are presently in RRS Headquarters, Governor’s Office, in Alausa.
The suspects were picked up mainly in Ajegunle and other spots in the metropolis. Six of them were picked up at hotels in Ajegunle where they usually lodge, while others were arrested while operating at different bus-stops on the Mile 2-Oshodi and Oshodi-Iyana Ipaja routes.
The robbery suspects are Akeem Fatai, 42 years old; Jerry Nwokoro, 24; Olayinka Tadius, 29; Lucky Thompson, 36; Stanley Augustine, 31; Ubah Kenneth, 25 and Henry Ate, 48.
Confessing to the police, one of the suspects, Henry Ate, believed to be the oldest among them, noted that they operate in shifts (morning and evening session), adding that they retire to their hotels in the afternoon after morning operations and re-group later in the evening.
“As at the time we were arrested, more than half of us had gone out for morning shift operations. Seven of us were picked up at various bus stops in Oshodi-Mile 2 route during operations. We know ourselves. We have no other job than this. It is what we live on,” he said.
He disclosed further that, occasionally, the team interchange members, emphasising that predominantly, every one-chance team needs a driver, a conductor and a picker, who seats mostly in the last seat of the bus.
“During operations, we pick only few passengers, maybe two to four. We dispossess them of their belongings, drop them and go our way. But we don’t push them down while on motion.”
Other suspects arrested were 17 years old Habib Nurudeen, 23 years old Oyemi Ilesanmi, Kenneth Okojie, 30, Chinedu Uzubi, 24, Ajakaiye Christopher, 26, Samson Uwaneze, 23 and 24-year-old Wasiu Kazeem.
One of their victims, Pastor Emeka Ndukwe, whose phone was recovered from Christopher Ajakaiye, noted that his phone was taken from his pocket inside an Iyana Ipaja-bound bus. He added that he noticed the phone was missing when he wanted to buy something.
Confirming the incident, the Police spokesman, Dolapo Badmos, a Superintendent of Police, said there would be no hiding place for criminals in Lagos State, adding the suspects have been charged to court.
In a related development, Lagos State police command yesterday denied the alleged abduction of two policemen attached to Owutu police station. According to the spokesperson of the command, Dolapo Badmos, a Superintendent of police, there is no evidence that the policemen had been abducted.
Two policemen attached to Owutu police station, Owutu, in Ikorodu area of Lagos State were alleged to have been kidnapped by gunmen, on Sunday.
It was alleged that the policemen were four in number and on duty when the gunmen attacked them but two of the policemen escaped while luck ran out on one sergeant and one corporal.
The sergeant identified as Olorunfemi whose family lives in Ibadan and the corporal were said to have been moved to an unknown destination.
While some people believed that they were kidnapped, others say ritualists allegedly attacked them because their abductors had not made any call across to any of the victim’s family.
According to Badmos, “we don’t have any evidence that the policemen have been abducted. Internal mechanism has been activated. It has however been confirmed that they have not been reporting for duty.
“The Force’s internal control mechanism has therefore been activated to deal with what is for now considered a misconduct.”
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