Two suspected robbers, Ramon Adedipe,15, and Taheed Kareem, 17, have revealed that they were lured into robbery by their friends under the guise of helping them out of their financial problems.
The duo named one Femi aka Dangote and Emmanuel a.k.a. God With Us, as the persons who initiated them into petty stealing after they met at a hemp smoking joint at Iyana Iba area of Lagos.
The duo made the confession during a parade of suspected criminals on Thursday held at the state police command headquarters in Ikeja, by the Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu.
The police said the suspects were arrested following intelligence report on their nefarious activities in Iyana Iba area of Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos, where they had been snatching phones and hand bags from people.
Confessing, Ramon said: “ I was arrested on February 27, 2019 at about 4:00pm by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos state police command.
My mother and father are late and I managed to finish Senior Secondary (SS3) and subsequently trained as vulcanizer. I could not further my higher education because I had nobody to sponsor me.
“After my apprenticeship, I was faced with another problem which is the money to buy the tube or tyre pumping machine and I had nobody to run to for assistance.
There was no way one can start vulcanizing work without the pumping machine. The machine was the biggest huddle to my starting vulcanizing work. I had even secured where to have my workshop at a very good road junction within my area but I could not start because I had no pumping machine.
“In my desperation to survive, I started making friends with people whom I thought could assist me to survive like giving me money for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
I also got bad influence from some of the friends I made like those who made me to follow them to joints where I followed them to smoke weed(Indian hemp).
Expatiating further, he said: “It was the Indian hemp smoking that gave me the courage to follow them to snatch phone and hand bags. In my first operation with them (gang) I got N5 , 000. They used to tell me that the money is for eating and changing of clothes.
“I paid N20, 000 to train as vulcaniser but what they were giving me was not encouraging. If I get my freedom I will not join robbery gang again,’’ he added.
The second suspect, Taheed Kareem, 17, who claimed he is a native of Ibadan, Oyo State, said he used to work as barber in Iyana Iba area of Lagos.
Kareem said he got into robbery in a bid to get money to open his own barber shop, noting that he did not use gun to snatch phones and bags from his victims.
He said his gang cheated him to the point that he had made up his mind to leave the gang before he was arrested.
He revealed that it was his bad habit of taking hard drugs that blinded him when the bad boys came to lure him into robbery in Lagos.
He advised youths to avoid the company of those who indulge in hard drugs so that it would be difficult for anybody to lure them into crime.