The five-man gang, who raided and robbed the Jos, Plateau State home of Ogenyi Onazi, defensive midfielder for the Super Eagles, have confessed that their quest for an enjoyable Sallah celebration pushed them into the criminal act. The Lagos State police boss, Fatai Owoseni, paraded the suspects on Thursday.
Members of the gang identified as Kingsley David, Ugochukwu Ebuka, Osita Ezeamu, Ali Audu and Joseph Ozo confessed to have raided the Jos home of the Super Eagles player three days ago, before they were arrested in Lagos.
The suspects had attacked the footballer’s aged father, Mr. Wilson Onazi, and made away with his ATM cards, some cash and his white Toyota Highlander Sport Utility Vehicle with registration number JMU 300 AA.
Although the robbery occurred in Jos, Plateau State, police detectives led by the Divisional Police Officer, Alim Musa, a Chief Superintendent of Police, arrested them in the Ajangbadi area of Lagos.
When they were paraded at the state command headquarters in Ikeja, it was discovered that the victim’s neighbour in Jos masterminded the operation.
According to the gang, they had carried out the operation primarily because the victim made no move to help them in their quest to seek for greener pastures abroad, adding that they wanted to use the car to celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir. The suspects were arrested at the Ajangbadi area of Lagos while attempting to sell the Toyota Highlander car to a prospective buyer. The mastermind, Kingsley Davis, said the victim was their neighbour in Jos, adding that he was the one that brought up the idea before others bought into it. He said: “My team members are my neighbours and friends. We were just discussing when the idea came up. Contrary to what they said, we did not beat him up. We only used the knife to threaten him and take the car that we wanted to borrow for the Sallah break. “After the operation, we left Jos and came to Lagos to meet our contact person. We were on the way when somewhere in Ajangbadi, the police stopped us. The rest is history.” For 26-year-old Ugochukwu Ebuka, although six of them planned the attack, only three of them participated in the operation.
He said: “It took us one week to conclude plans of how to carry out the attack. It was Kingsley, who brought the information about the house. On that fateful day, we arrived the house around 10:00a.m.
“Joe knocked on the gate and a few minutes later, an elderly man emerged from inside the compound. He opened the gate. At first, we did not know that it was Onazi’s father.
“Three of us tried to force our way into the compound but the man resisted. He appeared drunk that morning, so we overpowered him. We wrestled him to the ground. We told him we were not going to harm him and that we only wanted his money. We discovered that the old man lived alone. There was no guard at the gate. No cook or wife, but just him alone in a big house.
“Joe held a cutlass, but we did not use it on him. We asked for money but he said he had none. We searched the sitting room. Later, we went into his bedroom. I think he gave us just N5,000 and his ATM card. We took a bag containing two pairs of canvas on our way out.
“We collected the keys of the Toyota Highlander packed in front of the house and drove away. We threw the ATM card away because it was not functioning. It was Kingsley who organised the operation, but he did not participate. Kingsley was angry with the old man because he felt that he was not assisting anybody. He lives alone and never bordered about any other person.
“It was Kingsley, who also planned our movement to Lagos. He told us that he had contacted someone. When we left the place we hid the car at Feringhana area of Jos to allow the heat to die down. Three hours later, we headed towards Lagos.
“We arrived Ajangbadi on Tuesday and we stayed in a hotel. We met Osita Ezeana at a drinking joint at Ajangbadi. We told him we had a car to sell. We had not agreed at a price when the police arrested us.”
Another suspect, one Joseph Ozo, a graduate of the University of Jos, said the gang called him because he is an expert in driving.
He said: “I am a graduate but I was invited into this operation by Kingsley. I followed them for the operation but my job was to drive, which I did after I had collected the key.”
The Lagos police boss, Fatai Owoseni, who paraded the suspects, said the criminals were probably heading to Seme border, Badagry where they intended to sell the car.
Owoseni, who said the suspects and the exhibits would soon be transferred to Plateau State Command for further investigation and prosecution, added that it was a testimony that policing has no boundaries.
“The police are poised to ensure that no matter where the crime is committed in any partof the country, the police headquarters has given all the commands teeth to bite,” he said.