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My parents’ death pushed me into crime, says suspect


Acting inspector-general of police, Solomon Arase

Acting inspector-general of police, Solomon Arase

A 20-year-old Ifeanyi Okorie, who was arrested for his involvement in armed robbery operations has blamed his parents’ death for his involvement in crime.

Okorie, who is now cooling off his heels in the cell of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Lagos State Police Command, told newsmen yesterday that his parents died few months ago thereby leaving a big burden for him and the family.

According to the police, the two-man armed robbery gang made up of one Stanley, a notorious robber, was operating in a street when the tenants noticed that the gun Stanley was holding was a toy gun and then raised the alarm.

The alarm attracted neighbours, who arrested them and attempted to lynch them, but they escaped the mob action with their loot. Unfortunately, they did not run far before a Police patrol team from the Satellite police station flagged them down for routine check.

Chijioke fled leaving Stanley behind. He was subjected to a thorough search where a gun was discovered on him. He was arrested immediately and later transferred to SARS for discreet investigation.

In his confession, Okorie said: “I live at Orege Street, Dustbin bus stop, Ajegunle, a suburb of Lagos. I finished my secondary school education in 2008. When my mother died, my father could not bear the loss, He now developed a sickness that gave him stroke and he died one month after my mother’s death. That is the cause of what I am going through today, because there was no money for me to further my studies and take care of my two sisters and my younger brother.

“When one of my town woman who visited home, Kwale in Delta State was going back to Lagos, I quickly followed her. I dropped off at Iyana-Ipaja where I met a friend, Chijioke, who later lured me into armed robbery.

“One day, Chijioke and I entered a house and found out that the owner, his wife and children were sleeping. Chijioke told me to open the man’s door to enable us enter and operate. The moment I opened the door, the man rushed, grabbed me and started punching me.  The wife was shouting thief, thief, thief. Her alarm attracted a large crowd and they came and joined in beating me.

“Fortunately for my accomplice, he escaped while I was rescued by the satellite police on patrol who stormed the place. I was taken to the station where I was later transferred to SARS.

“I have operated for about five times before I was arrested. The first one was at Igando, where we got N13,000 cash and handsets. The second operation was at the same Igando, where we got three Nokia phones and N15,000. The third one was at Agbara where we got N25,000. The forth one was at Lekki where a woman went to withdrew money from the bank and we successfully robbed her. I swear to God, Chijioke did not tell me how much we collected from the woman. He just gave me N12,000.

“We did not use our guns to kill. I was using toy gun, which eventually put us in problem. After operations, I would tie our victim’s hand and leg to stop them from chasing us while we were escaping from the robbery scenes. We also folded their mouth to stop them from raising the alarm. If we had succeeded in intimidating the victim that raised the alarm that put us in this mess, we would have bound him and I won’t be in this mess that I am in now. Chijioke was using a locally made gun to distract people who want to pursue us after operation.”

The Command spokesman, DSP Ken Nwosu, who confirmed the story, said the police have stepped up manhunt for the fleeing Chijioke.

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