By Evelyn Usman
OPERATIVES of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad have arrested two persons for their alleged connivance in the massive robbery attacks two Sundays ago in Lagos, which left three policemen and some civilians dead, with several others wounded. A one-year-old baby was also hit by bullets during their dare-devil operation which lasted for hours.
Recovered from the gang’s hideout somewhere around Agege area of Lagos, was one of the vehicles reportedly used in the operation, two AK 47 riffles and two magazines loaded with two hundred ammunition.
The duo of Rasheed Suleimon and Kaseem Enifolabi, according to Lagos State Police Command spokes person, Ngozi Braide, while parading them along side other suspected members of different robbery gangs that have been on the command’s wanted list, were arrested in Dopemu and Oshodi areas of the state by operatives from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja.
She said the suspects confessed knowing members of the gang that operated two weeks ago but insisted they did not take part in the operation, adding: “During investigation one of the suspects took the operatives to the gang’s hideout at Wahabi Street in Agege area of the state where one of their operational vehicles, a Honda civic, was recovered with two AK 47 riffles and four magazines with two hundred ammunition.”
She explained that the robbers were able to escape that day because the Police were mindful of civilian casualties. Braide said: “The robbers shot sporadically, but with the way we were trained, we are not supposed to shoot anyhow, particularly in the crowd. It will be better to allow robbers to go free than killing innocent people because the Police will always arrest them someday.”
One of the suspects, 21-year-old Rasheed Sulaimon, who hails from Kwara State, claimed he knew the leader of the gang, even as he disclosed that a female was among the robbers who terrorized Lagos that fateful day.
Hear him: Yes, I know the leader of the gang that operated in Lagos two weeks ago. They did not tell me they were going to rob. But after the robbery, one of them known as Yemi boss called me the next day and said they struck the previous day and killed some policemen.
“He later sent me N3,000 recharge card warning me not to tell any soul, or he would kill me. There was a woman among the gang. And they usually operated in both military and police uniform. I knew Yemi boss at a drinking joint in Akerele area of Sango from where we became friends.”
Arrested kidnap suspects
In another development, the Police in Lagos, last week, smashed another gang which specializes in kidnapping eminent personalities in Lagos. The police arrested three suspected members of the gang who confessed to have kidnapped two staff of Dangote group and an Indian man recently. Three suspected members of the kidnap-gang whose target are the rich and influential were paraded by the police.
The trio of Pius Uba Livinus, 25, Kelerchukwu Onyeman, 27, and Ayebe Segun, 32, told a bewildered crowd that they were responsible for the kidnap of two staff of Dangote Group of Companies on September 2 and 17, 2012 . One of them, Pius Livinus, who said his father was dismissed from the Nigeria Police Force 17 years ago, disclosed that the sum of N32 million was collected as ransom for the release of one of their victims.
Conspiracy and kidnapping
Livinus was discovered to have been arrested and charged to Magistrate Court 17, PWD, Ikeja for conspiracy and kidnapping in April 2012, but was released two months later, before he allegedly perpetrated Yahaya’s kidnap.
Livinus told reporters that his gang’s operational method includes storming prominent clubs in Ikoyi and other highbrow areas, from where they would kidnap fun seekers while leaving the club.
He confessed to have taken part in three kidnap cases, noting: “The first one was successful. It involved an Indian man, in Victoria Island. Four of us were involved. At the end of the day, N32 million was paid as ransom out of which I got N5 million.
“The second one was not successful because I was arrested and charged to court but managed to find my way out.” The 25-year-old Secondary School Certificate holder from Isiala-Ngwa North, Abia state said he used part of his share to buy a plot of land in Lekki.