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Lagos hip-hop artistes confess to robbery over ‘hunger virus’

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Two entertainers, a musician and a pianist, both robbery suspects arrested by the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) unit of the Lagos State police command, have confessed that they were involved in robberies to survive the COVID–19 lockdowns.

The suspects, Chinonso Michael, aged 25, an Afro hip-hop singer, and Chimelu Victory, 22, a pianist, were arrested last week Wednesday in company of five others at their residence at No. 4, Modupe Young Thomas Estate, Ajah, by the decoy team of RRS.

The duo had, on April 10, ordered a pay-on-delivery iPhone 11 Pro Max valued at N450,000 in an online platform, Jiji.com from their serviced apartment in Ajah. On receipt of the consignment from a deliveryman, one Anifowoshe Itunu, Chimelu, the buyer, generated a fake alert to the rider and later, with the connivance of Chinonso, escaped from the apartment after they had delayed the dispatch rider with a bottle of beer.

The suspects then sold the iPhone 11 Pro Max to a buyer in Ogba, Ikeja, for the sum of N350,000, transferred into Chinoso’s bank account.The suspects, who jumped off from the first floor to the ground naked at their apartment on sighting the police, confessed that it was the third time they sold an iPhone 11 Pro Max during the pandemic lockdown, adding that the other two phones were carted online with stolen credit cards.

According to sources, “Chinonso fractured his arm and bruised his chin immediately he landed on the ground floor. He then raced to the street naked before he was arrested and taken to the hospital.”

In their confessions, they said, “During the lockdown, there was nothing going on and we didn’t have anything to eat for about two weeks. We were already owing all the store owners in the neighbourhood. Nobody was ready to give us credit anymore. We had to device a means to survive the lockdown.”

Chinonso, who just changed his stage name from Authority to Happy-Boy, noted that he joined Chimelu at his Ajah residence in March 2020 and that he was his music teacher in Aba, Abia State, before he moved to Lagos. Chimelu, who is popularly called Apostle Swag, recently resigned as a Lekki church keyboardist to pursue a career in music, adding that he used to have regular shows in Lagos clubs before the lockdown.

He added that “the plan of a service charge apartment was to create the impression that they live there in the mind of the dispatch rider.”The suspects confessed that apart from their musical careers, they also engage in internet frauds. Exhibits recovered from the suspects include one iPhone 11Pro Max, three laptops, two flash drives, two WiFi connection modems, two memory cards, four SIM cards, one Samsung phone and one iPhone.
The suspects have been transferred to SARS for further investigations and prosecution.


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Chinonso MichaelCOVID-19
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