The police in Lagos have arrested six suspected traffic robbers along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Alafia and Costain areas of the state.
Three of the suspects, Daniel Ani, 19, Akinbode Muiz, 17, and Oluwasegun Emmanuel, 24, were arrested at about 10pm under Daleko bridge, Iyana Isolo, while robbing motorists in traffic. Two others, Olalekan Taoreed and Adeniyi Okunloye, 25, were apprehended at Alafia along Badagry Expressway on Friday night, while Godwin Okafor, 31, was held at Costain.
Police spokesman Bala Elkana, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), in a statement yesterday said those arrested at Daleko confessed to be responsible for traffic robbery at Mushin and its environs.
“They confessed to have stolen phones and bags from victims, as well as a bag containing N25,000, belonging to Oyebanji Ibukun of 14, Waheed Ologunju Street, Oke-Afa Isolo, Lagos before they were nabbed by the police.
“Two knives and cutlasses were recovered from the suspects. Investigation is ongoing. The suspects will soon be charged to court.
“The patrol team attached to Orile Police Station, at about 8pm on Friday, received a distress call that some traffic robbers were operating at Alafia, along Badagry Expressway.
“The anti-robbery teams were quickly sent to the scene. Two suspects, Olalekan Taoreed, 20, of 20, Sunday Street, Ijora Badia and Adeniyi Okunloye, 25, of Alaba Road, Suru-Alaba were arrested.
“One Samsung Duos phone stolen from one of the victims was recovered from them. One big sharp cutlass, which was used in inflicting injuries on their victims, was recovered from them. The suspects confessed to be responsible for traffic robberies at Orile and its environs. Investigation is on. The suspects will be charged to court.
“Police Commissioner Zubairu Muazu warns that tough times await traffic robbers with the deployment of surveillance teams across the state. The command will continue to make Lagos State difficult for criminals to operate. The CP calls on Lagosians to be vigilant at all times,” said Elkana.
Okafor, who was arrested by policemen attached to the Task force on Environmental Sanitation, was said to be a notorious pickpocket who allegedly made between N80,000 and N100,000 daily.
The task force said the suspect was the ringleader of a four-man gang that operated at areas of the state in a commercial bus, robbing victims of valuables.
“The suspect was nabbed after he and three others now at large, jumped down from a commercial bus on top of Costain bridge immediately they suspected that a patrol team of the agency was chasing them from Ojuelegba,” said Chairman Olayinka Egbeyemi, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), in a statement by his spokesman, Taofiq Adebayo.
He said the task force acted on complaints by commuters about the activities of criminals who used commercial buses to rob them.
A resident of 127, Ojo Road, Ajegunle, Okafor, Adebayo said, confessed to have started as a bus conductor 15 years ago before graduating to pickpocketing.
He said the suspect confessed further that his gang operated at different parts of the state, including Oshodi-Mile 2, Obalende, Pen-cinema, Agege, Ojota and Ikorodu Road, adding that any passenger who refused to cooperate was beaten and thrown off the moving bus.
“We have been in this robbery and pickpocket business for long. We dispossessed our passengers of their valuables such as wallets, jewellery, including phones, which we sold as fairly-used to the public,” Adebayo quoted the suspect as saying.