Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command and officers attached to the Lagos State Task Force on Environment and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit have arrested six suspected traffic robbers in the state.
The suspects allegedly robbed motorists, passengers and unsuspecting members of the public of their valuables during gridlocks.
The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, in a statement on Sunday, said operatives of the command on surveillance duty arrested three of the suspects – Daniel Ani (19); Akinbode Muiz (17); and Oluwasegun Emmanuel (24) – at the Toyota bus stop end of the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.
He noted that the suspects, who were notorious traffic robbers in the area, confessed to the crime during interrogation.
Elkana said, “On Saturday, February 18, 2019, around 10pm, a police patrol team on surveillance on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway sighted some armed bandits at Toyota bus stop under Daleko bridge, taking advantage of the traffic congestion and robbing motorists and other unsuspecting members of the public of their valuables such as laptops, handsets and money.
“The three suspects were arrested. They confessed to be responsible for traffic robberies in Mushin and its environs. They also confessed to have stolen numerous phones and bags from different victims, as well as a bag containing N25,000, belonging to one Oyebanji Ibukun, of 14, Waheed Ologunju Street, Okeafa Isolo, before they were apprehended by the police.
“Two knives and cutlasses were recovered from the suspects. Investigation is ongoing and the suspects will soon be charged to court.”
The police spokesperson noted that the command also arrested two other suspects – Olalekan Taoreed and Adeniyi Okunloye – for allegedly robbing residents in the Alafia area of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
Elkana said Taoreed and Okunloye were arrested after operatives of the command attached to the Orile Police Station responded to a distress call.
He said, “On Friday, April 19, 2019, around 8pm, a surveillance patrol team attached to the Orile Police Station received a distress call that some traffic robbers were operating at the Alafia area on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway. Anti-robbery teams were quickly deployed in the scene.
“The two suspects were subsequently arrested. One Samsung handset stolen from one of the victims was recovered from them. A big sharp cutlass, which was used in inflicting injuries on their victims, was also recovered. They confessed to be responsible for the traffic robberies in Orile and its environs. Investigation is ongoing and suspects will be charged to court.”
Meanwhile, the Lagos State task force said the suspected leader of a four-man gang allegedly notorious for using a commercial bus to rob residents had been arrested.
The 31-year-old suspect, Godwin Okafor, and his gang allegedly operated in different parts of the state with the bus to dispossess their victims of their valuables.
The task force noted that the suspects, who dispossessed their passengers of valuables such as wallets, jewellery and phones, sold them as fairly-used items to unsuspecting buyers.
The gang, according to the police, also beat and throw out victims who refuse to cooperate with them.
The suspects reportedly made about N100,000 daily from sales of the stolen property.
Luck, however, ran out on the alleged gang leader, Okafor, as he was nabbed on the Costain Bridge by the enforcement and monitoring patrol team of the agency, while the other members escaped.
The task force Chairman, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, in a statement on Sunday, said there had been a series of complaints by commuters on the activities of criminals using commercial buses to rob them of their valuables.
He added that the complaints prompted the officers of the agency to embark on regular patrols of every nook and cranny of the state.
“Operatives of the agency and other security agencies across the state will not relent in curbing criminal activities being perpetrated by miscreants and hoodlums across the state,” he said.
While urging members of the public to report any criminal activities around them to relevant law enforcement officers of the state, Egbeyemi said the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Zubairu Muazu, had directed that the suspect be charged to court.