Segun Ishola Afolayan and Folorunso Owolabi claimed to be bricklayers but what they were caught doing on Wednesday, April 24 had nothing to do with shovel, headpans or diggers, as they were alleged to have snatched a motorcycle with registration number GNN 134 QB from a commercial rider, Sarafa Jimoh, at Idi Iroko area of Orita Challenge area of Ibadan, pretending to be passengers.
The two suspects reportedly stopped the okada rider at Orita-Challenge on the fateful day, asking him to take them to Idi-Iroko area.
On getting to a lonely zone within the community, however, Ishola and Owolabi allegedly dispossessed the rider of his motorcycle, rained slaps on him and threw him on the hard ground forcefully. They were also alleged to have threatened to shoot him if he dared raise his voice to seek help.
With the belief that they had succeeded with the operation, the gang members zoomed off but their victim was said to have raised the alarm, which attracted other okada riders and other people. The suspects were eventually caught up with at Orita Challenge area where an irate mob reportedly descended on them with different weapons, including iron rods, sticks, stones and other objects.
They would have been given the jungle justice save for the quick intervention of one of the anti-crime squad of the Oyo State Police Command, the Skynet, led by Inspector Usman Dimka, which arrived the scene, rescued and took them to the nearby police station.
Crime Reports learnt that some of the suspects’ victims went to the police station to identify them. Among them was one Akin Folajimi who reportedly identified one of the robbers as a member of the gang which snatched his Toyota Sienna bus with registration number LND 393 AW on December 23, 2012.
Another victim, who did not disclose her name told Crime Report that one of the arrested suspects was among those who came to attack her in her shop on Saturday April 20 along Asipa road, Orita Challenge area. According to her, “I was in my shop at about 7.30p.m. that evening when three men came on a bike. The rider sat on the bike while two of them got down.
“I saw the face of the suspect who called himself Afolayan. He said he wanted to buy a big bottle of Eva water. As I wanted to open the freezer, he drew my attention and as I looked at him, he raised his ankara shirt and showed me a gun tucked in his trousers. He drew the gun and put it to my neck, threatening to shoot if I shouted.
“I was afraid. People were in front of my shop but the generator was on and the people later said that they thought they were customers. They collected my bag containing N58,000, my ATM card, NYSC certificate, took my Blackberry and Nokia phones from where I was charging them and removed my gold earrings. The armed robber hit me on the back with his elbow and I fell down. In the process, some bottles of wine fell and broke.
“They left, shooting as they escaped from the scene. I shouted but they had already gone. Though we trailed them with motorcycles, we did not get them that evening. When they were arrested on Wednesday, I was able to identify Afolayan as a member of the gang that came to my shop.
Folorunso Owolabi, (30), also a bricklayer admitted that he and his partner submitted themselves to the devil to be used. The suspect, whose battered left eye was oozing pus, also claimed that it was his first time of snatching a motorcycle.
The victim, while narrating his experience, told Crime Reports that Afolayan was also one of gang members who had earlier snatched a motorcycle from him about six days before the latest one, but said he didn’t notice when he picked them initially.
According to Jimoh, “when I got to Idi Iroko, they disembarked. As I wanted to ask for the fare from them, one of them slapped me. I started begging them but they picked me and threw me on the ground. I struggled to get up and held one of them but he drew a gun, threatening to kill me. I told him to kill me but they threw me on the ground again and zoomed off. I started running after them shouting thief! thief!!. They were eventually caught by sympathisers.”
When contacted, the police image maker in Oyo State, DSP Olabisi Ilobanafor confirmed the story, saying that the suspects had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Iyaganku, for further investigations.
Source: Nigerian Tribune