By Olasunlkanmi Akoni
LAGOS—Two suspected robbers, who specialised in attacking and robbing motorists and commuters in Mile 2 area of Lagos State, have said poverty and hunger led them into a life of crime.
The suspects, Sunday Chukwuweike, 26, and Emmanuel Friday, 28, were arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, of the Lagos State Police Command after midnight on Mile 2 Bridge in Lagos, Friday, after robbing a truck driver, Yinusa Salami, of N45,000 and his mobile phone, alongside two other accomplices, Silas and Sule, both still at large.
In his confession, one of the suspects, Emmanuel, a secondary school drop-out, who later became a bus conductor in the area, said: “I was in the company of my friends when we saw the driver. He was coming from Apapa. He stopped on the bridge to pick somebody.
“It was the most senior among us that robbed him. I thought they were going to drop some good money for us to eat when we approached him.
“It was Silas and Sule that dipped their hands in his pockets and brought out some money. They took the money and the phone and we went on our way.
“Silas and Sule forcefully collected N45,000 from the truck driver and gave me and Chukwuweike N10,000 as our share from the loot. We went back to our usual joint before the truck driver led men of the Rapid Response Squad to arrest us.
“We were hungry, that was what made us follow them to rob. I took to the street after dropping out of school to fend for myself.
“Although I have participated in so many crimes such as inter-group fight, hemp smoking, pick pocketing and the rest, I have never been involved in robbery or threatening people with guns or dangerous objects.
“I have been to the prison twice, once in 2013 where I spent seven months and also in 2016 where I bagged three months after engaging in street fighting.”
On his part, Chukwunweike, an ex-convict also, confessed to the crime but blamed his wrong doing on the hard life which he was exposed to on the streets.
He said: “I came back from prison after spending three months, but here I am again in another mess.”
The truck driver, Yinusa Salami, stated that he stopped at the bridge to pick up his brother, who was waiting for him.
He said: “I was coming from Apapa and heading to Osun State. I wanted to assist my brother, who was equally going to Osun State. I got to the bridge and alighted from the truck. That was when I saw four of them.
“I was about giving them some money when they seized my arms, before dragging me to the ground and forcefully collected all the money in my pocket totalling N45,000. They claimed to control the area and that nothing can happen.
“I approached the men of RRS stationed at the other side of the bridge to report the incident. They followed me to track the boys. That was when we saw the two of them trying to split their own share of the money. They were arrested there, but the other two guys escaped.”
The suspects have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, for further investigations and prosecution.