TWO ex-prison inmates who were released from prison a few months ago are back in police net after the operatives of the Zonal Intervention Squad, Zone 2 of the Nigeria Police Force, apprehended them with another suspect, in connection with car theft through the use of master keys.
The names of the ex-inmates were given as Akinola Babajide (46) and Akinmiluyi Sesan (43) while the third suspect was named Orji Ejike (32).Exhibits recovered from them include 17 master keys and 25 vehicles of different brands and models.
Crime Reports learnt that the arrest was a follow-up on the information received by the officer-in-charge, CSP Gbenga Megbope, on August 27 that some miscreants who specialised in removing vehicles from parks within South-western and South-eastern parts of Nigeria, specifically Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Delta and Rivers states, were in a particular location in Ughelli, Delta State and perfecting plans to perpetrate their act in one of the South-western states of Nigeria.
Briefing journalists about the arrest last Thursday at the squad’s office at Obada-Oko, Ogun State, the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of the zone, Abdulmajid Ali, said that a team of operatives attached to the squad was detailed to go after the miscreants, and place them under surveillance for possible arrest.
He stated further that the move produced result, as Ejike was arrested in Ughelli town, Delta State, on August 30. His confession reportedly led to the apprehension of the two other suspects in Akure, Ondo State.
The AIG said that the suspects confessed to have stolen over 70 vehicles, adding that efforts were on to make more arrests and recoveries.
He appealed to members of the public whose vehicles had been stolen or snatched to approach the Ogun State Police Command or the Zonal Intervention Squad base at Obada-Oko, along Abeokuta/Lagos Expressway, Ogun State, for claims with proofs of ownership, saying that the suspects would soon appear in court.
Crime Reports spoke with the suspects at the Zonal Intervention Squad’s office. Below are their confessions:
Orji Ezike (32)
I am from Abia State. I live in Aba town. I was arrested in connection with vehicles we stole. We used master keys to open the cars. We were operating in Lagos and Ogun states, sometimes in Enugu State. I have been doing it for four years.
The crime was introduced to me in Benin, Edo State, by one Rotimi through his friend, Kevin. He invited me to come and work for him as a driver. After about two months, Rotimi opened up to me that the cars I had been driving were stolen. When I decided to withdraw, they threatened that they would still mention my name if anything should happen and they got arrested. So I have no choice than to join them.
On my own, I have stolen about 30 of such cars. I got my buyers through Rotimi and his gang. I have not made any tangible profit from the crime because of its nature. We have to stay in hotels and paying the bills makes it difficult to save some money. I am married but my wife did not know that I was into car stealing. She thought I was a driver. So far, 12 vehicles have been recovered from me.
Sesan Akinmiluyi (43)
I was arrested in Akure, Ondo State with Akinola where we went to steal vehicles. I had been arrested before over the same offence. When I was charged to court, I was remanded in Ijebu Ode prison but was released about two months ago.
I went back to crime because my house rent had expired and I needed to pay. I did not know what else to do. I never knew things would turn out like this. Nigerians should forgive me. I was working with my partner, Akinola. Both of us were arrested before and were charged to court together before we secured our release.
Akinola Babajide (46)
I wanted to gather some money through few jobs (car theft) and get out of the country. I didn’t know it would be like this, so the government should pardon me. I left prison in April after I was able to perfect bail condition. The case is still on in the court.