The Lagos State Police Command has arrested one Musa Usman, who is alleged to be a member of a five-man robbery gang who specialise in car snatching and bank robberies within the Oshodi-Apapa expressway. The suspect who hails from Kano State was arrested in Lagos after being on the police .wanted by the police for months.
Musa who was paraded in Lagos by the State Commissioner of Police, CP Fatai Owoseni said he was forced into the criminal world by bad company and due to the circumstances of life.
Although his other gang members are still at large, Musa who seemed regretful tells how he left his justifiable means of livelihood for robbery.
“I am 28-years-old from Kano state. It was one Ezekiel and Anthony I met last year that lured me into robbery. I used to be a tiles carrier at the Odun-Ade tiles market in Coker. Although I was not making much from it, I was comfortable and happy – until I met Ezekiel and Anthony.
“I met them in the market when they came to buy tiles. They picked interest in me and we exchanged contacts. It was on one of those occasions when he called me that he brought up the issue on the need to make it fast in life.
“I saw reasons with them and even explained my dreams of possibly dealing in tiles when I am able to come up with the needed capital. It was at this point that they told me that there was a sure way of making so much money. They told me they were into robbery and had two others that worked with them. I was shocked and could not believe that fine gentlemen like them were into such.
“I refused their offer and chose to continue with my noble source of livelihood. But things became unbearably difficult for me, so I had to consider their offer. I called them and told them I was in. That was about six months ago.”
Musa said he became the fifth member of the gang and since he teamed up with them, “I have been involved in four major robberies. On one of our operations, we robbed a Toyota Highlander car and sold it for N200,000. We operated mostly along the Oshodi-Apapa expressway and Palm Groove road. We often operate from 10 pm. My share for each operation ranged between twenty and thirty thousand naira only and I often spent it on taking care of my family needs as the first son. I even enrolled my younger brother into generator mechanic training from the proceeds.”
On how the gang operated, Musa said. “Our strategy was simple. We would double cross our victim’s vehicle, threaten them with a toy gun and then dispossess them of their valuables and possibly their cars. When we get jewelries I would often take it to Garba who buys it from us. I have sold to him on four different occasions and he pays me N15, 000 and sometimes N10,000.
“But when it is a car, it was always Ezekiel and Anthony that went to get buyers. After each successful operation and after we had sold all we got. We would always meet at a Baba Ijebu game stand located at Itire Street, Ajegunle where we would share the money gotten.
“Unfortunately, it was while I was waiting for my other gang members at our meeting point at Itire Street that the police came and I was arrested.”
In his defence, Garba Idris who is 40-years- old from Kebbi denied the allegation that he had bought stolen jewelries from Musa four times.
“Yes, I bought a particular necklace from Musa at the cost of N20,000, but I never knew it was stolen. I just saw him wearing it on his neck and walking pass my shop. I called him and inquired if he was interested in selling it and he said yes and that was how I bought it. Saying now that he has sold jewelries to me four times is a big lie.”
A police source who spoke to The Daily Times in confidence has it that Musa’s arrest followed a complaint received by the police from one of their victims whose phone was also stolen. The phone was tracked to Lokoja where it had been sold to someone else. The man who had bought the phone however led the police to where he bought it and that was how Musa was picked from his hideout in Ajegunle.
Although investigation is ongoing to arrest the other gang members, Musa on his path is calling for mercy. He said, “I want the government to forgive me, I am not a bad person but was misled by friends. I promise to be of good behavior if the government can let me go. I really do not want to go to prison.” He begged.