‘Forgive me, I acted in anger’
By Ifeanyi Okolie
The duo of Chijioke Okolie and Princewill Osika are currently telling detectives at the State Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Lagos State, the motive behind their attempt to kidnap a Lagos -based businessman.
They were rounded up recently, at a notorious criminal enclave in Ikota, a suburb of Ajah in Lagos, when Anti-robbery policemen attached to Ajah police station, who were acting on intelligence report, raided the criminal hideout.
Police sources said one of the suspects; Chijioke had contacted a notorious robbery gang to assist him in kidnaping and robbing the businessman who happens to be his boss. A native of Ebony State, Chijioke was sent parking by his boss after he returned home drunk penultimate Sunday.
According to the sources, he regarded the action of his master as an affront to his efforts, and plotted to kidnap him by contracted a gang of armed robbers. Unfortunately, a member of the gang was a police informant, who promptly alerted his colleagues of their plans.
Crime Alert gathered that the businessman, whose identities were withheld for security reasons, had earlier reported a threat to his life to the police over the development. A police source said “Coupled with the information we got from our informant, we responded swiftly. First we got concerned about his life; giving the relationship between the master minder, Chijioke and his master. Some times, in cases like this, the victims get killed after being kidnaped by a familiar foe, to avoid any further threat. So, we moved into action immediately and when we stormed the hideout ,we discovered that they were only trying to strategies on their mission. We swooped on them but only managed to apprehend two, while others fled in various directions.”
When paraded before journalists at the State Command Headquarters, Ikeja last Monday, Chijioke told Crime Alert that his master threw him out of his house without paying his entitlement, after serving him for four years. According to him; “I was out for revenge, I have served my master for four years and he sent me out without a penny, after a very minor misunderstanding.”
The 24 -year- old man, when pressed to give more details on what led to the misunderstanding, he said “It was on a Sunday, we don’t go to the market on Sundays. I was very happy and I went out to have some drinks with my friends. But I got home drunk and my master noticed it. He was not happy. And we had a fight. We fought because I was so drunk and I could barely control my self. He threw me out of his house that night. I had no other place to go, because it was late and I had to sleep along the road. The next day, I sent some of my friends to beg him on my behalf, but he refused.
Ever since, I’ve been staying at one friend’s house to another and I am not comfortable with it . I felt it was bad after all the years I have put into his business. I deserve to be settled even if he wants to do away with me. But it doesn’t seem so; it seems much like he wasn’t ready to settle me at all. So, I resolved for a kidnap. But the problem was how to go about it. I told some of my friends of my plan but they weren’t ready to assist. But Princewill, consented when I met him. He agreed to my plans and we both started working on it before the police showed up. Now, I regret my actions , I should have been patient. I am sorry, I acted in anger. I need a second chance.”
His 25 -year_old, Rivers State- born accomplice, Princewill Osika, when interviewed by Crime Alert said he agreed to his plans because of ‘suffering..” According to him, “I’m suffering, when I met Chijioke and he told me his plans, that he wants to kidnap his brother and if it’s impossible, he wants us to rob his master’s shops. Because I needed money for my up keep, I opted for it. Sincerely, I have no home of my own in Lagos. I have been passing the night at uncompleted buildings around. Chijioke told me that his brother was very rich and he would pay any amount we requested and I consented to his plans. I did not think of the implications. Now that I have been arrested, only God knows when I would be let free. I would turn a new leaf if given a second chance.”
Lagos State Commissioner of police, Mr. Mavel Akpoyibo, while parading the suspects, said the command was prepared to end kidnaping. According to him “ we are committed to our mission statement of zero tolerance for crimes, and kidnaping. We are highly prepared to fight kidnaping and we will stop at nothing in achieving this goal.
Criminals and prospective criminals are therefore advised to repent, quit crime and join in making Lagos State a better and safer place. Alternatively, they may as well pack their baggage and leave the city of Lagos for those who are prepared to be law abiding.”