‘I joined robbery gang because of my mother’s ailment’
EMEKA Edward, 19, is a secondary school dropout, who was arrested by the Police in Lagos for robbery. He said he joined the robbery gang to raise money to cater for his mother’s deteriorating health.
The Rivers State-born suspect, who was apparently remorseful for his actions, further attributed the demise of his father, four years ago to his indulgence.
He said his father’s demise saddled him with the responsibility of catering for his ailing mother and siblings alone.
Edward was arrested with two other members of his gang on December 5, 2014, during an operation. They are George David and Kelvin aka ‘Intelligence’.
The robbery gang was alleged to have been terrorizing residents of Alagbado area of Lagos and its environs before it was smashed.
The Guardian learnt that the three-man robbery gang stormed Alaso area in Alagbado at about 8.00p.m., where they dispossessed their female victim and her children of valuables including money.
However, along the line, the woman was said to have managed to escape and alerted residents of the robbers’ presence.
The robbers were said to have hurriedly left the apartment. But unknown to them, the residents had laid ambush for them. While George David and Kelvin narrowly escaped, Edward was not that lucky as he was apprehended by the residents who were said to have trampled on him and beat him to a pulp, before the arrival of policemen.
The suspect, however, denied claim by the victim that the gang members attempted to rape her, stating that they only held her wrapper when she attempted to escape.
During preliminary investigation, it was discovered that Edward lives in the same vicinity with their victim.
“I did not know that was where we were going to operate. I live at No. 25, Quadri Adebambo Street; Alagbado George also lives in the same neighbourhood.
On that fateful day, I was on my way to see a friend named Alfa, when I met George and Kelvin. They told me they were going for a robbery operation and invited me to join them. They did not promise me an exact amount. They only said that the loot would be shared equally among us.
“On arrival at the designated apartment, Kelvin and George went into the house with guns while I was behind them. We met a woman in the sitting room with her three grown male children. To my shock, I recognized one of the children. I quickly informed George and Kelvin but before we could decide on what to do, one of the children mentioned my name. We were distracted at that moment. As if that was not enough, their mother escaped through the back door. As she was leaving, George attempted to hold her by the wrapper but the wrapper fell off the woman’s waist. She also fell down but kept running and shouting thief! thief!! thief!!!
“At that point, we felt it was no longer safe to continue the operation and we fled in separate directions. In fact, I had succeeded in escaping from the building but I was caught along the road,’ he said.
The suspect added: “I have never gone for any robbery operation since I was born. This was my first. My ailing mother made me do it. She is not directly involved. What I mean is that I went into robbery to raise money for her medical bills.
My misfortune began after the death of my father four years ago. I was forced to drop out of school because there was no means of furthering my education.
“Being the eldest child, I tried my hands on several menial jobs. All I could save was used to pay for the operation.
“But just recently, I got a call from my mother, informing me that she had been ill. She said that her stitched stomach had opened and that she needed some money to go to the hospital for treatment. From her tone, I noticed she was weak to even speak. It was while I was contemplating on how to raise money for her condition that I met Kelvin and George. My intention was to take whatever came out of the operation to my ailing mother the next day. Unfortunately, that was never to be.”
It was gathered that his confession led operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to the gang’s hideout, somewhere around Orile –Agege area, where George David was apprehended.
Operatives were said to have further visited a hotel around the area where the leader of the gang, Kelvin reportedly lodged, only to discover that he had disappeared.
But a locally-made Magazine, AK 47 rifle with a 1.6m calibre cartridge and travel documents belonging to the kingpin was reportedly recovered in the hotel room.
It was also discovered that the kingpin is a student of the Ebonyi State University.