A 20-year-old robbery suspect, Yusuf Lawal, who was recently arrested by the Lagos State Police Command, says he started robbing at the age of seven. Lawal, aka Eletu, and another member of his gang, Taju Alabi, aka Kolo, were arrested in the Ebute Meta area of the state.
The officers of the Anti-Robbery Squad attached to the State Department of Criminal Investigation, were patrolling Kadiri and Kano streets around 4am when they heard a cry for help.
A group of robbers, 19 in number, said to be operating in the community at the time. The police, while responding to a distress call for help, 20-year-old Lawal was arrested. He was said to be in full gear of operation; dispossessing a victim of money, phones, and other valuables. His accomplice, however, stabbed the victim and fled the scene.
Lawal, who is the only child of his parents, was taken to the SDCI for interrogation, during which he led the police to make other arrests. The Lagos State indigene said he started with petty robbery and refused to stop even after his father had told him to. The father of one said he turned out badly due to peer pressure.
He said, “I am the only child of my parents. I grew up not knowing my mother, who died when I was still a child. I don’t know what my father does for a living. “My father could not correct me because I always overpowered him whenever he attempted to do so. I later ran away from home and started living with a friend in Idi-Oro, Mushin. “I started robbing when I was seven after I quit primary school. My friend, Sule, introduced me to robbery and we always went out to rob residents. We stole phones, money, and other valuables. “Also, we usually rob very early in the morning. I will turn a new leaf if the police can release me.”
There was a mild drama when the second suspect, Alabi, denied knowing Lawal and said he had never participated in any of the robberies. Lawal, while confronting him with his sin, said, “On two different occasions, I stole phones and gave them to you to sell, which you did and we later shared the money. “You saw me living large and you asked me for the secret, and I told you. We have been doing this together so tell the truth. When we were robbing people, you should have known this will be the end.”
However, Alabi, who is 18-years-old, subsequently owned up, adding that he had only gone for three operations.
“Yes, he’s my friend and we have been friends since childhood. We met at Mushin. I work at a carwash and I am also a bus conductor. I have only stolen three phones. It is true that we rob people,” he added.
A police source said the suspects had been cooperating with the police and giving useful information.
“They were 19 in number that participated in the robbery that morning. We were on a patrol that morning when we received a distress call. We quickly deployed our men and Lawal was caught red-handed. We are on the trail of the other suspects, and soon, they will be arrested,” he added.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Joe Offor, when contacted for comment, promised to call back but had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.