A dismissed policeman, Sani Felix, who had been arrested severally and charged to court for criminal offences is in police net again after he was caught at about 10p.m. on October 3 by members of a vigilance group at Elenusonso area of Ibadan, Oyo State, who suspected him after sighting him in an uncompleted building in the area.
Crime Reports gathered that the suspect, who also bears Raphael, could not give a satisfactory answer when questioned on his presence in the area. While the questioning was going on, the security men reportedly sighted a pistol in his back pocket but when Felix saw that it might implicate him, he was said to have taken to his heels with the men in hot pursuit.
When he was eventually caught, the gun was nowhere to be seen again, but two wraps of weed suspected to be cannabis sativa and two passport photographs of him in police uniform were found in his pocket. When informed about the incident, the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Eleyele Division, DSP Ayoola Olawole, reportedly sent a patrol team to arrest him.
It was further gathered that a number plate with registration number AGG 694 QB was recovered from his house at Odejayi area of Ibadan. He was also alleged to have attempted to snatch a motorcycle from one Alidu Kazeem on same day at about 8.30p.m. when he and one other at large pretended to be passengers and asked the rider to stop so that they could alight from the okada.
Felix had been arrested in Saki in May, 2012 and was charged to court after he was caught for posing as a policeman and extorting money from motorists. Found with him, among other things, were a police identity card, handcuffs, driver’s licence bearing Ojo Usman Adewale, nine wraps of cannabis sativa and crumpled naira notes in different denominations totalling N1,925. After his release months after, he was arrested again on November 14, same year, when he snatched a motorcycle from its owner at Bodija area, and was paraded among other suspects at the Eleyele headquarters of the Oyo State police Command on November 15.
Felix was reported to have been notorious for stealing people’s motorcycles from them by pretending to be a policeman who had arrested them. One of his ploys was to stop an okada without registration number, claiming that the rider was under arrest.
He would then call out to an imaginary police officer to come and take the bike to the police station, after which he would decide to take it himself, pretending that his partner was not responding to his call. He would then ask the owner to report at a particular police station which would be found to be a lie.
This time round, when arrested at Elenusonso area, Felix claimed that he went to look for a girlfriend he had not seen in two years when he was arrested by the security men. He also claimed that his case on the last offence was struck out and he was discharged and acquitted when the complainant was no longer coming to court.
The 34-year-old Ebira man from Kogi State, who said he joined the Nigeria Police Force in 2004 but was dismissed in April, 2011 for going out on illegal duty in Ile-Ife, Osun State told Crime Reports that “There was a girl I was dating while still in service. She has a shop at Gbopa area of Ologuneru community in Ibadan but we have not seen each other since I left the police force. I traced her to the shop but could not see her, so I went to her brother’s place at Elenusonso area of Ologuneru to look for her. We normally met in a school behind her brother’s house, so I stood beside the school watching out for her. I waited till after 8p.m. but did not see her.
“As I was leaving, I was stopped by a man whom I later discovered was a security man in the area. He asked for my mission and I told him I came to see my girlfriend. He asked whether I knew the place and I said yes. He took me to a house and called out to Tina’s brother. The man denied knowing me and the security man started beating me. He was joined by other security men who tore my clothes and beat me, using cutlass to hit me on the back. They called the police from Eleyele Division and I was taken to the station.”
He denied having a gun, saying he only had his driver’s licence and passport photographs that were found on him. He also denied ever being arrested, charged to court or remanded in prison until he was confronted with his past deeds. At first, he was speechless, then he confirmed the facts that were presented to him on his past criminal records. When asked why he was lying bold-facedly, he could not give an answer but bore a look that showed that he gave up on his pretence and lies.
When reminded of the okada he allegedly snatched at Bodija area in 2012, Felix said: “I did not snatch it. I only borrowed it from my friend and he reported me to the police the following day that I stole it when I didn’t return it.
However, during an interview when he was arrested in 2012, Felix told another story. According to him then, he just took the okada to Mokola because the okada man was not willing to take him to his destination.
The Kogi-born dismissed police officer said that “on Wednesday, I called an okada rider at Bodija to take me to Mokola. He said he was not going that way. I begged him to take me, promising to give him money. He got down to pick something and I went away with his motorcycle. When he came to meet at Sabo, the people were asking whether he didn’t know me.”
According to his victim then, one Jelilu Mumuni, a citizen of Niger Republic, “this man (Sani) approached me to take him and one other man to Agodi Gate but I told him that I ply Bodija to Sango. He brought out his identification card, saying that he was a policeman and pleading that I should help him to a spot where they could easily get another okada. On the way, he said I should go and drop him at 411 Club along Awolowo road. I thought that was okay since I was going to Sango.
“As we passed the railway at Bodija Oju Irin area, the second man used his hand to push the face cap I had on. I wanted to turn to pick it but they said I didn’t need to do that. With the belief that he was truly a policeman, I kept the okada engine running and got down to pick the cap.
“Before I knew what was happening, the one at large zoomed off wih the ‘policeman’ on my okada. I quickly waved down an okada rider and told him what happened. We started trailing them until we saw them with the okada at Civic Centre, Mokola. I started shouting Ole! Ole!! (thief!, thief!!). The sped towards Sabo and that was where they were stopped by the Hausas there. Sani was arrested while the other man escaped. The police at Mokola were invited and he was handed over to them.”
Raphael was then said to have been notorious for snatching motorcycles from owners in Oke Ogun environs and was even fingered by a Saki resident as the one who allegedly killed an okada man and went away with his motorcycle.
Confirming the story, the PPRO, Olabisi Okuwobi-Ilobanafor said that he would be charged to court after the completion of investigations.