A blind man identified as Monday Iruanya alongside members of his syndicate have been arrested by the Lagos state Police Command for alleged robbery and stealing of tyres valued at about N20m.
According to the state Commissioner of Police, CP, Fatai Owoseni, a soldier was being trailed for aiding the 61-year-old suspect and his accomplices – John Michael, 30-year-old Charles Chinonso and James Francis.
The tyres were stolen at a warehouse in Apapa and were being taken to Sagamu, Ogun State for sale when they were intercepted in Ijebu Ode by policemen, who had been on their trail from Lagos.
It was gathered that Michael, who acted as the owner of the goods, had approached Iruanya, the blind suspect, to help him get a waybill so the security agents would not question his ownership of the items.
The blind suspect, who police said was released from the Kirikiri Prison for stealing in 2010, was said to have provided the waybill, which listed the stolen items and the destination, after a promise of N100, 000 from the proceeds.
In his confession, Iruanya said he wanted to use the money to treat his eyes, adding that he did not know the tyres were stolen.
He said, “I was a transporter and had many cars. I was arrested in 2010 for stealing some spare parts, but I was later released. I became blind in 2012.
“My friend, Michael, came to me that he needed a waybill. I got it at Tincan in Apapa and he promised to give me N100, 000 to treat my eyes.
“He and I were at Sagamu waiting for the truck to arrive when the police arrested us. I did not know the content of the truck and whether the items were stolen,” Iruanya added.
The driver, Francis, said the tarpaulin they used to cover the goods had torn and were trying to replace it when the police swooped on them at Ijebu Ode.
He said, “It was a friend, Peter that invited me to the deal. But he fled at Ijebu Ode while we were looking for a tarpaulin to cover the tyres.
Chinonso, the truck conductor confessed to the crime, saying he was promised N150, 000.
The CP urged the public to promptly report criminal activities around them to the police.
He said, “Within a week, operatives of the command arrested 26 robbers.
“About 49 live cartridges and ammunition were recovered. The suspects will be prosecuted.
“In the course of the encounter with the police, one of them died. In due time, the other suspects will be paraded,” the CP noted.