Land speculators behind most crimes in Lagos —Robbery suspects
TWO robbery suspects in the dragnet of the Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) Lagos State Police Command, Akinbola Akinyemi,34, aka Chiefoo and Abdul Rasheed Ahmed,18, have blamed the crime rate in the state on queer land speculators. “I blame my predicament on land speculators aka Omo Onile. They were the ones who hired us to protect their land with a token fee. Instead of calling professional surveyors they give local surveyors a token, despite advising them to call professional surveyors. At times, they pay me as little as N2, 000. Some of the landlords are retired armed robbers. However, the attraction there is that, at times, if you are lucky you can be given a plot of land as compensation. At times, they purchase guns for us to fight rival gangs. They gave me an acre of land at Isawo in Ikorodu.” “What happened that day when guns were discovered in our bag was very unfortunate because I was not used to carrying ammunition for them. A police source said the two suspects are members of an 11- man robbery gang who also work as thugs for some land speculators. “ Akinbola was arrested by a team of highway policemen in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State after an exchange gunfire, while other members of the gang escaped. Akinbola’s confessions during interrogation led to the arrest of the second suspect, Ahmed. A bag containing one locally made short gun, axe, charms, five cartridges and one expended cartridge was abandoned by the fleeing gang members. When interrogated, Abimbola said he was attached to a Task Force under the Federal Ministry of Works. Ahmed, who claimed to be jobless, later told police that he was employed by the first suspect, Akinbola ,to join his gang to protect lands for their clients and, at times, to take over disputed property. Ahmed, in his confession, said, “We are 11-man gang. Akinbola, who is popularly called Chiefoo is my brother. He asked me to follow him to the site. When I got there, I saw many of the boys armed with machetes, cutlasses, iron rods, guns and other dangerous weapons, smoking and drinking heavily. We drove a rival gang away from the land with our superior fire power and charms. After taking over the land, we told some policemen in the area to arrest any of the boys driven away anytime they are sighted within the neighbourhood.” Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko, is expecting the officer in-charge of the SARS, a superintendent of police ,SP Abba Kyari, to fish out the remaining nine members of the gang as a standing order that no hoodlum that dares Lagos would be allowed to rest until fished out, even if they escaped to foreign lands.
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