The pervasive hunger in Nigeria forced us to return to armed robbery, a criminal life that we had abandoned for four years, two suspects wrote in confessional statements to the Police at the weekend.
Fear of hunger caused by another possible lockdown, due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the suspects cited.
The suspects – Rasak Babatunde, 22 and Idowu Wasiu, 16 – were arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad ( RRS) around Otedola Bridge, on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
The suspects, whom the police said were also members of the Awawa cult gang in Agege, were nabbed by RRS operatives while robbing victims held in traffic.
In their confessional statements, they said they went back to robbery over news of a possible lockdown occasioned by a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are members of Awawa cult gang of Agege. We stopped robbery when we joined Awawa gang four years ago. The gang provided us with food, drinks and women.
“We decided to go back to robbery because of the experience we had during the last lockdown. We had no food, no money. So we intended to make as much money as possible before the federal or state governments announce another lockdown,” Rasak said.
Speaking on the arrest, Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said the two suspected Awawa cult members in Oko-Koto, Agege were nabbed, hours after the police foiled a traffic robbery around Otedola Bridge on the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway.
Adejobi identified those arrested as, Rasak Babatunde, 22, a mechanic and Idowu Wasiu, 16, a tailor, at their hideout.
“The directive of the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, on the raid on suspected hideouts and black spots across the state, particularly in Agege and its environs, was part of the proactive strategies to minimise crime in Lagos State.
Some of the areas raided included Isokoko, Oke-Koto, Abattoir, Dopemu, Elere, Oniwaya and Pen Cinema, all in Agege.
“In the same vein, a team of the Rapid Response Squad led by CSP Yinka Egbeyemi, Commander RRS, foiled a traffic robbery on Friday December 18, 2020.
“The team ran into the suspected armed robbers around 11 pm at Otedola Bridge inward Ojota. The robbers hurriedly abandoned their motorcycle, with registration number, NND 268 WZ, a toy gun and some dangerous weapons,” he said.
Adejobi said the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, had also ordered for the investigation of the suspects while reiterating his commitment to rid Lagos State of criminals and hoodlums.
“CP Hakeem Odumosu also admonished members of the public to be sensitive to their environments and be alive to their civic responsibility towards maintenance of law and order and public safety of the state,” he said.