Children armed with education, particularly those who are able to get to the tertiary level, are expected to use it to fight against crime and exhibit responsible behaviour. But for Dotun (26) and Adekoya (23), graduates of a federal university in the South Western part of Nigeria, their academic attainment did not stop them from engaging in criminal acts.
The two graduates, who are currently members of the National Youth service Corps (NYSC) and serving in Ondo and Rivers states respectively, were recently arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Oyo State Police Command, in connection with a robbery gang they allegedly bought stolen vehicles from.
Speaking during a press briefing recently, the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Odude, said that the two graduates were arrested by SARS operatives along with two robbery suspects, Amoo Seyi a.k.a Star Boy (25) and Lekan Olatunbosun a.k.a. Cobra (24), on March 1 at about 8:00a.m.
According to Odude, the arrest of the suspects in Ibadan, Port Harcourt in Rivers State and Akure in Ondo State by SARS operatives were made possible through intelligence gathering. He added that a Toyota Camry car with registration number GGE 970 BW and a Toyota Sienna car with registration number SH 786 KJA were recovered from Dotun and Oladimeji.
Saying that he was resolutely committed to fighting heinous crimes and maintaining law and order in Oyo State, the police commissioner added that the suspects would be arraigned in court at the conclusion of investigations.
Saturday Tribune gathered that both vehicles were taken from the armed robbers by Dotun, and he sold one of them to his friend, Oladimeji. Both were said to be aware that the vehicles were stolen from their owners.
A police source also informed Saturday Tribune that the four suspects were picked as a result of the confessions of two other suspects arrested while attempting to burgle a house at Ikolaba area of Ibadan. After their transfer to SARS, they were said to have opened up on their past criminal operations.
It was gathered that Cobra and Dotun met in a police cell at Iyaganku Division when the latter was arrested for Yahoo activities. He was reported to have told Cobra that he should bring any item, including vehicles, to him, saying he would readily buy them. Dotun is also said to be serving in a higher institution in Ondo State. Adekoya is also serving in Rivers State.
One of the victims of the suspects (names withheld) narrated how the armed robbers broke into his house on January 12 at about 2a.m. while members of his household were sleeping. According to the man, “They beamed torchlight at my face which woke me up. They were in my house for three hours. They collected N70,000, laptop, phones, wedding rings, Plasma TV, wrist watch and recharge cards worth N50,000.
“They sat and smoke Indian hemp, ate the fried meat we had at home and went to a cabinet where they took milk, mixed it with Malt drink and drank.
“One of them recognized my wife as his primary school teacher and said it was God who used that to save her, as she would have been beaten. It was God that saved my daughter too as one of them would have raped her. They eventually went away with my Toyota Camry car. Since then, the trauma remained with me, until I got a relief when I was called that SARS operatives have recovered my car from the robbers.”
Saturday Tribune also held interview session with some of the suspects. Below are the excerpts of the confessions:
Seyi Amoo a.k.a Star Boy
“I am from Ogbomoso but live in Ibadan, Oyo State. I am a tailor. I started robbery in 2016. I was introduced to robbery by one Saheed and Obale. They used to come to Ibadan from Ijebu in Ogun State. I met them at a joint at Labiran area of Ibadan. I noticed how they used to buy drinks for people sitting at the joint. Saheed also used to give me money after I helped him in wooing one of my female customers whom he started dating.
“One day, I pleaded with Saheed to take me to Ijebu where he was making money. My thought was that he was getting the money from his job as a trailer driver. But he refused taking me. Obale later asked if I could keep secrets if he persuaded Saheed to take me to Ijebu and I answered in the affirmative.
“Eventually, they took me and one night, we went to cut the net of the window of a house and used a stick to pick a bag. They did not use guns. That was how I started following them on robbery operations. It was the day we went to Oru Ijebu that I noticed Saheed holding a gun. We targeted a house with wooden door which was broken with a stone. I was the one watching out for night guards while others went inside the building.
“They took laptops, phones and money, and I was given N25,000 and three phones.
“I formed my gang at Odo Osun hemp joint, Ibadan, after my outings with Obale and Saheed in Ijebu. I was once caught when I snatched a phone at Gbagi area of Ibadan. I spent a week in Agodi prison and when I came out, I faced my tailoring job.
“Later, I saw Eyin Ike selling hemp at Odo Osun and he introduced Badoo, an Igbo boy, to me, saying he came from his state in the South East and had a gun. That was how I started robbery with Badoo, joined by Azeez a.k.a. Mouthpiece.
We operated at three places, including Gbagi and Apata areas where we took victims’ Toyota Sienna and Toyota Camry vehicles respectively.
We were not taking vehicles from owners before; it was Cobra who told us that he knew someone, Dotun, who had shown interest in buying vehicles we could get. He also followed us to a house Iwo Road which we broke into in the early hours of January 1 while the owners were away in church. We got N200,000 and a hair clipper from the house. We went with Badoo and Mouthpiece.
“We used to operate with two guns and they were usually held by any two of the three of us. I led the gang to Gbagi area on January 12 because I had lived there before. It was Mouthpiece who attempted to rape a girl in the house.
“I drove the Camry car out. I saw the mother of the house and recognized her as my primary school teacher. We took the car to Dotun in Akure and he bought it for N100,000. He was the one who bought the Toyota Sienna we got before the Camry.”
Lekan Olatunbosun a.k.a Cobra
“I am a fashion designer. I have been smoking hemp for about two years. I started breaking into houses about three years ago after the occupants must have gone out. I operated at Ologuneru, Eleiyele and Apete areas of Ibadan. I was caught at Iwo Road area when I broke into a house in 2016. I was remanded in the prison where I spent eight months
“Last year, I met Seyi shortly after I came out of prison. I learnt he was also involved in house breaking. It was around the same time Star Boy met Badoo and Mouthpiece, so he introduced me to them and we started working together.
“I only went to an operation with them at Gbagi area where we got N200,000. But I was unhappy with the N20,000 I was given as my share, so I made up my mind not to work with Badoo and Mouthpiece again.
“I met Dotun in a police cell when I was arrested for giving a broken bottle to a friend to fight his opponent. In the course of discussion, Dotun said he was ready to buy any item we might have for sale; he gave me his mobile phone number.
“When I followed Star Boy to rob and we took a Sienna car, I informed Star Boy of Dotun’s demand and we called Dotun. We sold the Sienna to him. That was the same way we sold the Camry to him. He knew they were stolen vehicles.”
“I am from Ijebu Ode in Ogun State but I live in Lagos with my parents. I finished from a federal university in Ogun State in 2015. I studied Animal Nutrition. I am currently serving in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
“Dotun and I finished from the same university where he studied Agricultural Science. I knew he was into Yahoo (internet fraud) activities. Towards the end of January, Dotun, who happened to be my close friend, called me on phone. I knew him with the Sienna car but I didn’t know how he got it.
“He later confided in me how the vehicle was forcefully taken from its owner but convinced me it was not at gun point. About a week after, Dotun called me again and said that the boys who sold the Sienna to him said they had a Toyota Camry car. He asked if I was interested in buying. I told him I was afraid of getting involved in such but he said I should not worry, since I was staying in Port Harcourt, which was far from where the vehicle was taken.
“He sold it for me for N130,000 and took another N20,000 for repairs. On February 13, I went to Akure to meet him and he drove me back to Port Harcourt in the car on February 14. When I heard he had been arrested, I was not comfortable. His girlfriend and brother called me, and when SARS operatives came to Port Harcourt, I willingly surrendered myself to them.”