By Olasunkanmi Akoni
LAGOS—A member of a notorious One Chance robbery gang, Ajibola Alao, 29, arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, of Lagos State Police Command, has said he failed to heed his late mother’s advice not to steal the fruits of other people’s sweat.
The suspect, who showed remorse for his actions, was arrested for allegedly robbing innocent victims.
Alao was arrested last Thursday during one of his routine operations in Oshodi area of the state, after dispossessing their lone passenger, Mr. Asotie Benedict, of his two phones and N61,000.
The suspect, in company of the driver and conductor, using their operational bus, a Volkswagen Transporter, Danfo, with the number plates APP 820 XE, picked up their passenger, Benedict, 24, at Ladipo.
But Alao and his accomplices refused to drop Benedict at Oshodi Under Bridge, his destination.
On seeing LASTMA officials at the bus stop, they pretended they were ascending the bridge towards Oshodi Oke; it was at this point they dispossessed Asotie of his Blackberry Passport and Samsung, and his wallet containing N60,000 before forcing him to alight, while the vehicle was in motion.
According to the victim, “after throwing me out of the moving bus, they flung N100 at me, perhaps, for me to transport myself back home. But I did not give up. I ran after the danfo.
“Fortunately, I sighted RRS vehicle, Response 091, I quickly alerted them. They went after the vehicle and caught up with it.
“They arrested Alao, who was the one that took all I had on me. But the driver and the conductor abandoned their vehicle and escaped.
“All they took from me were found on him and some additional phones, which he told the police they took from previous victims.”
Alao, in his confessional statement, said he was part of a three-man One Chance robbery gang and that the two additional phones in his possession belonged to two previous victims of their operations in Oshodi.
He continued: “I have been in the business of One Chance since 2015. At a point, I stopped and began picking pockets while on buses to Sango, Agege, Oshodi and Apapa. I disembark whenever I have fleeced commuters of their phones and money.
“At a time, I was arrested and detained at Olosa Police Station in Mushin. My mum, who was very ill and on admission in a hospital at the time, was brought to see me in detention.
“She pleaded with the officers and secured my bail. She warned me repeatedly never to reap where I did not sow.
“She told me that if I have been using other peoples’ sweat to foot her hospital bills, I should stop it forthwith. She insisted that if I want to live long, I should stop stealing from people.
“She added that the consequences would be too severe for me if I go back again. Few weeks after the incident, she died.
“I did it then because I needed N140,000 to pay my house rent. I got more than that from a week’s operation but I didn’t stop then. Now, I went back into it to help raise funds for my siblings so that they won’t follow the same path.
“I am the first child and the breadwinner of the family. Since the death of my mother, I have been taking care of my brothers. That was my promise to my mum before her death.
“Most of my colleagues in the business were arrested by RRS last year. The few, who were not arrested, relocated to other states.”
The suspect has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Yaba, for further investigations.
Confirming the development, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent of Police Dolapo Badmus, said that the command will not rest on its oars in nipping criminal activities in the bud.