By Charles C. Opara
The suspects, Jolly Abienekpen, 30 years old and Olalekan Olumide, 21 years old were reportedly arrested by policemen attached to Police Divisional Headquarters Egbu road Owerri, while dispossessing their victims who were returning from Lagos, of cash and other valuables. Recovered from them were a locally made cut-to- size gun with four live cartridges.
In this interview with AMEN Super News, Jolly Abienekpen blamed his indulgence in crime to the demolition of his shop by the state government, an action he said made it difficult for him to fend for his wife and six-month -old child.
According to him: “ My friend Olumide and I went to rob people of their phones and cash coming back from Lagos. We only succeeded in robbing two persons when the Police swooped on us. Olumide managed to escape while I was arrested. I later led the Police to Olumide’s place.
“Before my arrest, I have participated in house -to- house robbery in and several other robbery operations.
“I was introduced into robbery by a friend named Shitta. I met him in the world bank quarters Owerri, where we usually go to smoke Indian hemp. During one of the meetings, Shitta introduced me to Oyo and Aluma . He sold the idea of robbery to us and we keyed into it. Right there, the four-man gang was formed. “When they noticed I was lilly- livered, they told me to be holding the bag,where loots are kept during operation. I usually stood outside during operation, to alert other members of Police presence or any intruder while the rest would be inside. We made use of two guns which were handled by Oyo and Aluma.
“But I was always cheated because they didn’t give me any reasonable amount at the end of any successful operation. I only got between N4, 000 to N7,000 after an operation, an amount they advised me to use to keep body and soul together until I became hardened”.
Continuing, the Edo state born suspect said: “ The gun that was recovered from me during operation was given to me by one young man called Bassey, who was just released from prison. I also met him at the India hemp joint”
“I never planned to be a robber. I joined out of frustration. I was once a barber. Then, I made N1000 to N1500 every day, out of which I delivered between N500 and N700 to the shop owner and used the rest to feed my family. I stopped barbing last year after government demolished our shops.
. I was into cart business, and l was using it to feed my family.
But for peer pressure I would have continued with my cart pushing. I was enticed by the way Shitta spent money. That was why when he sold the idea to me, I jumped at it, with the hope to raise about N30, 000 to establish another barbing saloon shop”.On his part, Olalekan Olumide who just finished serving a jail term in July last year, expressed regrets over his indulgence, likening himself to a dog that would always go back to its vomit.
Looking remorseful, the Osun state born said: “ I was arrested because I went with Jolly on a robbery operation. I knew Jolly at Iddo, where I worked as a cart pusher. The most painful aspect is that this is the first robbery operation I have participated in since I left the prison
six months ago. I decided to go with them because I needed money to take care of some pressing issues. I was not promised any amount. The assurance I got was that they would share the loot equally at the end of the operation.
“I was thrown into the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, for vandalising, stealing and selling government property. I stole some copper wire from Apagbon and sold it for N70, 000. I used the money to rent an apartment. After serving my jail term, I promised never to indulge in any crime that will take me to prison. But from the look of things, I may be heading for the prison again and I wonder how long I will be there”.
Explaining how they were arrested, the Investigative Police Officer Shola Idowu Lagos State told AMEN Super News that a team of Policemen who were on a routine patrol, “arrested one Jolly Abienekpen of no fixed address while robbing innocent citizens of their belongings. Other members of the gang took to their heels on sighting the policemen. He confessed to the crime and was transferred to the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS for further investigation and the police are still working towards apprehending some other members of the gang who are currently at large”.