Operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team have launched a manhunt for a suspected gang leader, simply identified as Aje, who organised the robbery attacks of his former neighbours.
The fleeing suspect, who used to live at Gemade Estate in Egbeda, Lagos State, was said to have organised two attacks on the estate, beginning with the attack on a United Kingdom returnee identified as Tobi.
In the first attack, Aje and his gang members walked away with over N14 million, both in local and foreign currencies. They also left with seven pieces of iPhone 12 Pro-Max and expensive jewellery valued at N10 million.
The second attack was on a certain Okeowo, living in the building adjacent to Tobi’s. In that attack, the gang smiled away with N4 million.
Both men were attacked on December 18, 2020 and January 4, 2021.
At least three members of the gang, Sheyi Olayiwola, Sadiq Adeniji and Maduka Godwin, have been arrested.
The police stated that the gang was part of those that had been terrorising several homes at Ayobo, Ishefu, Baruwa and Gowon Estate areas of Lagos State.
The robbers were able to access Tobi’s compound by scaling the fence. Once inside the compound, the gang broke a window to the kitchen, entered, grabbed some kitchen knives and then robbed the occupants.
They returned two weeks later to attack and rob Okeowo, using similar modus operandi to enter the compound. One of the gang members also attempted to rape Okeowo’s daughter. He was however appeased with a gold necklace and he abandoned his intention.
Sick and tired of the incessant robbery attacks, the estate wrote a petition to the Inspector General-of-Police, Mohammed Adamu.
The IGP deployed IRT Operatives, headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, to hunt down the robbers and check the robberies. The operatives, using the aid of advance technology, trailed members of the gang to their hideout at Ikotun Market, Lagos State and arrested the three.
A police source said: “The suspects have confessed to the crime, explaining that their operations focus on Ishefun, Baruwa and Ayobo areas.
One of their gang members, Aje, was the person who invited the gang to rob residents of Gemade Estate especially Tobi and Okeowo whom he knows quite well.
One of the suspects, Olayiwola, 28, married with two children, said: “I didn’t participate in the Gemade Estate robberies, but I have gone to six operations at Ayobo, Ishefun and Baruwa areas of Ayobo with the gang. We carried out those robberies breaking into homes through windows. I got a total of N250,000 as my share after the operations.”
Adeniji, 23, also married with a child, introduced himself as a vulcanizer. He explained that he met Aje at Ikotun Market and he later linked him to the gang.
His words: “It was Aje that led us to Gemande Estate because he has lived in that area in the past. He called us to go to the man’s house, who had just returned from London. We looted the house and everyone kept what he got. I don’t know the total value of what we sold, but I made good money from that operation.”
Godwin, 19, said: “We also specialise in stealing phones and money. We don’t use guns because when police arrest someone in possession of a gun, they’ll kill the person. We didn’t want them to kill us. During day time, we gamble with the money made from robberies, and at night, we regroup to rob any perceived rich homes.
Whenever we enter a compound, we’ll break the kitchen’s burglary with a stick, after which we’ll pick knives in the kitchen and used them to rob everyone in the house. We usually take the stolen phones to Akala area of Mushin, in Lagos, to sell. Aje is the leader of our gang. He’s also the person who pick targets to be robbed.”