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1 have robbed 35 ATM users in Alaba Rago, suspect tells police


The suspect

A twenty-five-year-old armed robbery suspect has told operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command how his gang robbed about 35 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) users in Alaba Rago Market, Ojo area of Lagos.

Gbenga Babatunde, who was arrested after a failed bid to rob a lady, who withdrew an unspecified amount of money around 5:48a.m. at an ATM point in Alaba Rago Market, was chased by the operatives patrolling the area, during which a ‘cut-to-size’ locally-made short gun with two live cartridges were recovered from him, the police said.

In a statement yesterday, the police said the suspect had an accomplice whose name was given as Samson Baba Ramadan, 28, who managed to escape after the botched operation.

The police said Babatunde owned up to the crime at the RRS headquarters in Alausa, adding that it was his accomplice, who is now at large, that introduced the crime to him.

“I have been in the crime since I met my colleague, Samson Baba Ramadan. I met him at Field Joint, Alaba, two years ago and since then, we have been working together,” he said.

“We have robbed about 35 people together. We usually get to the ATM point around 4:00a.m. and hide inside the shop that is not open beside the ATM machine.”

He said soon as a potential victim withdraws money, they would accost him or her, collect the money and escape. “The last money we collected was N40, 000. Yesterday, we collected N12, 500,” he said.

“This morning, we wanted to collect money from a lady. That lady ran away. We thought she had gone, not knowing that she went to inform RRS. This was around 5:00a.m. The RRS pursued us and arrested me but my partner escaped.

“I don’t go home. I sleep in Osankwa Hotel, Alaba Rago. It is only whenever I don’t have money that I go home. I have no wife or child.”

Also recovered from the suspect was a First Bank Mastercard belonging to one Iweka Christopher Uchenna and a Diamond Bank debit card owned by one Nkechi Esther Idoko.

The Lagos State Police spokesperson, Dolapo Badmus, who confirmed the arrest, noted that the police would leave no stone unturned towards ensuring that suspected criminals are brought to justice.

The case has been transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation and prosecution, the police said.

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