The Anti-Robbery Squad of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, has arrested a gang of four that had been terrorising residents of the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
The suspects – Akin Ayotunde,27, Isaac Ogbonna,23, Sola Dede 24 and Sodiq Lawal,who specialised in lurking around houses at night and switching off their victims’ generators before attacking them, met their Waterloo last Thursday when they were arrested after invading the apartment of one Bello Hakeem in the Igbe area.
It was gathered that the suspects spent six hours in the victim’s duplex and got away with his car, generator, money, phones, Automated Teller Machine cards, modems, laptops, cash and other valuables.
A sum of N100,000 was also withdrawn using one of the stolen ATM Cards.
Hakeem said that at about 11.09pm on Tuesday, he observed that his generator suddenly went off and he sent two of his children to go outside and fix the problem.
“About five minutes after they left, they were forced back into the house by four men, who were armed with knives.
“They ordered us to cooperate with them. They searched the house and made away with three laptops, six phones, three ATM cards, a new 3.5KVA generator, one 75alms battery, two modems, jewellery, cash, and my Toyota Corolla. They held my family hostage for six hours before leaving at about 6am the next day,” he narrated.
Hakeem, an environmental scientist, said he reported the incident at the Ijede Police Station, adding that a friend called him that a car that looked like his own had been put up for sale after two days of the incident.
The operatives from the SCIID who were alerted about the incident, apprehended the suspects, after which they confessed to the crime.
Ayotunde,the gang-leader said, “I used to sell garri with my grandma in a market before a former Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, demolished shops in the market. I tried another job, but it didn’t work.
“I then sold the idea of robbing houses to my friends and we agreed to use only knives and not guns. We always lurk around developing areas in Ikorodu at night, look for any house that had its generator on, scale the fence and put off the generator. When the occupants of the house come out to check the generator, we attack. We made N60,000 from our first operation in March.
“I was arrested when the man whom I had given the man’s car to called me that he had found a buyer. He said the buyer had paid N700,000 for the vehicle and that I should come for my share. We agreed to meet at a restaurant in Ojota. But on getting there, I discovered that it was a set up and I was arrested.”
Ogbonna, an indigene of Ebonyi State, said he joined the gang because was looking for money for the treatment of his elder sister.
“My sister needed blood transfusion and I had to look for money by all means. I got N25,000 from the operation,”
The third suspect, 24-year-old Dede, from Ondo State, said he joined the group because he needed money to change his apartment.
“An Alfa told me to move out of my family house because there was a spiritual force working against the success of men in the house. I needed money to change my apartment.”
The Police Public Relations officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, who confirmed the arrest, said that investigations were ongoing.
Her words, “The last house they robbed belonged to a couple who quickly alerted the police. They were trailed and arrested. They are currently undergoing interrogation at the command.”