By Ifeanyi Okolie
LAGOS — Abiodun Ogunjobi, otherwise known as Godogodo, the dreaded one-eyed robbery czar who terrorized Lagos and other South-West states, killing no less than 50 policemen while raiding several banks, businesses and homes, for over 14 years has revealed that he almost quit robbery in 2011.
Godogodo made this disclosure during an interview with Vanguard at the state Police Command headquarters, Ikeja, where he is currently being detained following his arrest by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, led by SP Abba Kyari, on August 1.
He told Vanguard that he had planned to quit robbery after building two houses and setting up 50 fishponds, valued at about N16 million, in Ikorodu area of Lagos.
Godogodo added that he also travelled to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, to buy clothes whose sales would keep him busy when he is not on his fish farm.
But his dreams got dashed when an operative of SARS, who had been on his trail for long, got an intelligence report on his location and traced him to his mansion.
Relocation to Ibadan
Vanguard gathered that the operative met a member of one land-owning family, locally known as omo-onile in the area and made him take an oath not to reveal his mission to anyone.
But the omo-onile informed Godogodo of the presence of a SARS operative in search of him and he quickly fled Ikorodu and relocated to Ibadan where he built two more mansions.
According to a source, “one of our operatives tracking Godogodo received an intelligence report on his location in Ikorodu and stormed the area as an undercover operative.
“He met a young man, an omo-onile, in Ikorodu who showed him Godogodo’s house but he was not in. Only his wife was around.
“The operative paid the omo-onile to keep watch on Godogodo’s house and report to him whenever he sets his eye on him, but news got to him (Godogodo) that a police undercover operative was in town looking for him. He fled without packing his property.”
I built 52 fish ponds
But Godogodo, speaking to Vanguard said: “In 2008, after I finished building my house in Ikorodu and I setting up a good business for my wife, I went into fish farming. I built about 52 fish ponds and I was making good money from them.
“I usually sell each pond between N600,000 and N800,000 and it took me four months to grow fingerlings into a maturity for sale. The business was moving smoothly and I had over 15 people working for me at the pond.
I was still going for robberies
“While the business was on, I was still going for robberies with members of my gang, but in 2011, I decided to quit. I gave all my rifles, they were nine in number, to my boy, Tosin, who resides at Ajah and I stopped going for robberies.
“I only asked them to bring my share of any loot they made from robberies carried out with my rifles. But in June of that year, I travelled to Dubai, where I bought some clothes I intended to sell in Nigeria.
When I returned, one omo-onile whom I had assisted in the past (in fact, I gave the guy N200,000 when his wife put to bed through a caesarean section) came to see me. I also gave him some of the clothes I brought from Dubai. He came to me and said a SARS operative had been in town, looking for me.
“The omo-onile explained that the operative dropped a live bullet into a cup of gin and made him swear an oath that he would not reveal his mission to anyone and he should also inform him upon my return.
“The moment I heard this, I knew there was trouble and my cover had been compromised, because nobody knew where I lived, including my gang members. I quickly moved out of the house and I went to Ajah to relax before I contacted my wife and asked her to leave the house without picking anything.
How I went back to my gang
“We stayed in that hotel for quite some time and I was running out of cash because the guys running my fish ponds were no longer remitting money because they heard that the police were after me.
“At that point I was left with no option than to go back to my gang. After some few bank robberies in Osun and OndoStates, I made huge money which I used to buy the land at Ibadan before I started building on it. But after that,I became more vicious and I made sure that I took part in all major operations within the South-West.”
28 rifles so far recovered
Meantime, Vanguard also gathered that the five AK-47 rifles and 40 fully-loaded magazines recovered from Godogodo, after his return from OgunState, were found in Ayobo area by the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Adeniji Adele, LagosIsland.
The recovery has brought the total number of rifles recovered from the notorious bandit to 28. According to the source, three of the rifles were found in a Nissan Primera car parked in the premises of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Adeniji Adele.
Sources disclosed to Vanguard that the vehicle was parked at the Federal Special Anti-Robber Squad, Adeniji Adele for over three years and was not properly searched after it was transferred from Ifo Police Station in OgunState, when they ransacked one of Godogodo’s mansions in OgunState.
The two other AK-47 rifles and 15 loaded magazines were recovered from Ayobo area of Lagos where they were buried. However, the discovery of three AK-47 rifles which belonged to three police officers attached to Mopol 16 in Abekuta, Ogun State, who were killed by Godogodo and his gang members when they were ambushed, at the Federal Special Anti-Robber Squad, Adeniji Adele sent the unit into disarray.