A robber in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, who snatched the mobile phone of a student of the Nnamdi Azikiwe university, took the daring step of uploading his own pictures on his victim’s Facebook account (Gabrilla Uchechi Eberechukwu) on Thursday.
The unidentified suspect, who changed the victim’s profile picture on Facebook to his, even went as far as sharing an update.
“I mind you,” he wrote on Eberechukwu’s wall, an update which then elicited a barrage of abusive comments for his confidence.
One of Eberechukwu’s friends, Ifunanya Joy, commented on the picture, “You stole my friend’s phone. You are a big thief” to which he replied with a laughing emoji.
Joy explained that she had spoken with her friend who explained that the man had taken control of her Facebook account and did not know what to do.
“She doesn’t even know what is going on with her Facebook now,” Joy said.
The suspect’s photograph has been circulating on the social media with messages for help in locating him.
A 49-year-old robbery suspect, Garba Ibrahim, simply specialised in robbing taxi drivers.
In fact, Ibrahim, a native of Otukpo, Benue State, believed his robbery method was so fool-proof that he did not think he could ever fail.
The suspect’s simple and seemingly harmless way of dispossessing taxi drivers of their vehicles, took him across Abuja, Benue and Kogi states, where he operated until the long arm of the law caught up with him.
When he was apprehended, Ibrahim, who is now being held at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, told police investigators, “With only biscuit, I can rob any taxi driver. I usually lace the biscuit with drugs.”
When Ibrahim was caught by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, eight vehicles were recovered from him. They were the remaining of many vehicles he stole and had yet to dispose of.
Ibrahim’s last victim, whom he robbed in Abuja, reportedly provided the police with information that led to him being tracked down in his hometown of Otukpo, where he was hiding out in a car dealership filled with cars from his victims.
A police source said Ibrahim had robbed the victim after giving him tea and biscuit that had been laced with drugs.
Ibrahim said in the statement he made to police investigators that he was married with four children and started his criminal activities just few months ago, when he realised robbing taxi drivers was not that difficult.
The suspect said he discovered the method of drugging taxi drivers by chance.
He said, “It all started when I chartered a cab from Makurdi to Gboko. On the way, I stopped over at a restaurant to buy food, part of which I offered to the driver. We bought Semovita and drove to a place and started eating. He started feeling dizzy.
“I then took out his floor mat from the car and told him to sleep on it. But before he slept off, I took the car key. As soon as he slept off, I drove the car, a Volkswagen Golf 3 to Otukpo and I sold it to a man called Chiama for N500,000.
“Fourteen days after I robbed that driver, I travelled to Abuja and boarded another cab. I asked the driver to take me to Sheraton Hotel. I paid him when we got there and asked him to wait so he could take me back. I entered the hotel to make him think I was rich. But I went to the pool side and sat there for some time.”
Ibrahim said after a while, he went out to meet the driver and told him to take him to another hotel.
When they got there, he said he paid for a room and told the driver to follow him inside to collect his fare.
The suspect said, “Once inside the room, I told him I needed to eat something fast and asked if he wanted something to eat too. I brought out bread and biscuit from my bag. I had already put some sleeping drugs on them.
“I took one of the biscuits and gave the rest to him, which he took and ate. Soon after, he slept off. I then took his key and left with the key. I drove the vehicle to Kano State and I sold it to one Abdulrahman for N600,000.”
However, the police said Ibrahim’s undoing was his last victim’s phones, which he took away and gave out as gifts to his in-laws.
He was said to have given one of the phones to his mother-in-law, and the other to his sister-in-law, who were none-the-wiser about the criminal activities of their benefactor.
As soon as Ibrahim’s victim gave vital information to enable the police to track the phones, the mother-in-law and her daughter were quickly located. Soon after, they led the police to Ibrahim.
The police have said Ibrahim would soon be charged to court as soon as investigation is complete.
Meanwhile, IRT operatives have also arrested Saturday Jackson, one of the leaders of Port Harcourt’s notorious gangs, the Islanders.
Jackson had allegedly led the Islanders on many kidnappings and cult-related killings in the Rivers State capital and other adjoining cities.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that when Jackson was arrested at Abuah area of Port Harcourt, a locally made rifle and a pump-action gun were recovered from him.
A police source explained that the IRT had received many complaints about the violent activities of Jackson’s gang, which had also become a source of worry to the Rivers State Government.
The violence of the gang was intensified because it is said to be locked in a supremacy battle with a rival gang, the Greenlanders.
“His boys have coordinated several armed robberies around the state. Acting on information about him, we were able to piece together a strategy that allowed us to track him down and arrest him,” the police source said.
Jackson, who is now answering questions on the activities of his gang, explained that his gang operated with two pump-action rifles and two Dane guns.
“Our main activity was kidnapping. We kidnapped two people in February, Mr. Solo and Mr. Barrister. They are both from Abuah. Solo paid N200,000 as ransom while Barrister paid N500,000.
“Before we became kidnappers, we were actually vigilantes. I was employed by one of the men we kidnapped in February but when he refused to pay my boys and I, we kidnapped him.”
Jackson said he and members of his gang recently submitted some of their arms when an amnesty was announced by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
He denied ever killing anybody during his gang’s operations but explained that he and his men were always at war with the Greenlanders.
The IRT Commander, Mr. Abba Kyari has said efforts are still being made to track down other members of Jackson’s gang.
A notorious armed robber, Saheed Olanrewaju, has confessed his crimes and also revealed that severe hunger drove him into robbery.
According to the 39-year-old suspect, his friend, a man he called “SV” introduced him to the life of crime he led until he was nabbed by officers of the Kwara State Police Command, to “save him”.
Olanrewaju, a native of Sagamu, was paraded by the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr.Olusola Amore, in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
“I met SV in Taiwo area in Ilorin when he taught me how to rob. I regret my action now, but it was hunger that turned me into a robber. I had been starving for long and I realised robbery was the only source of daily bread at the time. If I am eventually freed today, I will never venture into crime again,” Olanrewaju said.
The CP said one of the victims of Olanrewaju’s gang, one Abdulateef Abolaji, was sleeping at home with his family at Budo area of Italepa in Ilorin, when he was attacked.
Amore said the robbers dispossessed Abolaji and others in the house of cash, mobile phones and jewellery. But an investigation into the attack later led the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the command to the arrest of Olanrewaju.
Amore said one locally made pistol was recovered from the suspect, noting that efforts were on to arrest Olanrewaju’s accomplices who are at large. He added that the suspects would be charged to court on completion of investigations.
A suspected leader of a car snatching syndicate in Aba, Abia State, identified as Ladislas Ukpabi, says he robbed to raise money to expand his poultry.
He said the economic recession in the country and his dwindling poultry business made him to consider armed robbery as an option.
Ukpabi said, “I regret what I did. Our leaders should do something to help youths in the country so we can have jobs.
“If I am well funded, I can raise about 10,000 birds. I am not boasting; I can do that very well right from the hatchery to the laying point.”
The suspect, who claimed to be a graduate of Animal Science, was arrested by police operatives in connection with car theft.
It was learnt that one Felix Anyanwu of Umuoda Road in Aba had made a complaint that his Lexus Rx 330, with number plate, JJJ 618 DL, was stolen at gun point on August 8 by some hoodlums.
It was gathered that the police in its investigation arrested one Igwe Uloma, while re-registering the stolen vehicle for one Obinna Nwokeji of the Deeper Life Road, Umuada Uratta Aba.
Nwokeji initially claimed that he bought the vehicle from Ukpabi for N600,000, but later confessed to be a member of the syndicate.
Other items recovered from the hoodlums include one locally-made single-barrelled gun with six live cartridges, one Honda car marked, SSM 143 KK, a master car key, a number plate, AK 103 GR, and a fan.
The police also arrested one Moses Nwosu, an automobile panel beater based at Orji in Owerri, Imo State, who allegedly repainted the stolen vehicles from its original colour to black.
Nwosu, however, said he was not aware that the vehicle was stolen.
He said, “I didn’t know the car was stolen, I met Obinna through one of my brothers who is a driver, he asked me to repaint the car to black colour for his father’s burial.
“I asked him why he wanted to repaint it and he said he didn’t want his family members to know that the car belonged to his father.”
“But before I could finish the job, he called me to come and pick another car to work on; that was how I was arrested.”
The Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adeleye Oyebade, said the suspects had confessed to the crime and would soon be arraigned in court.
The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a suspected robber, Ebere Nwankwo, for allegedly attacking and raping a male victim in the Lekki area of the state.
Sources learnt that 20-year-old Nwankwo, after dispossessing his male victim, identified only as Martins, of the sum of N22,000, allegedly had anal sexual intercourse with the victim.
This is just as two other robbery suspects – Jelili Babatunde and Ramon Haruna – were arrested by the police in the Isokoko, Agege area, while dispossessing pedestrians of their valuables.
Our correspondent gathered that in the Lekki incident, which occurred last Thursday, Nwankwo, who was armed with a gun, sneaked into Martins’ apartment on Goshen Estate in the Lekki area at about 4pm.
He was said to have ransacked the victim’s room and found N22,000.
It was learnt that Nwankwo thereafter allegedly ordered 16-year-old Martins to get on the bed, while he had sexual intercourse with him.
The suspect was afterward arrested by operatives from the Maroko Police Division, who were on a patrol in the area.
A source said the victim’s screams during the intercourse alerted the policemen.
He said, “The robber had threatened to force his victim to an Automated Teller Machine, where he would get more money from him. In the meantime, the suspect asked his victim to lie on the bed and he started having sexual intercourse with him.
“Some policemen, who were patrolling the estate, heard screams from an apartment and they drew close. When they forced the door open, the suspect and the victim were found having anal sex.”
Our correspondent gathered that Nwankwo told the police in his statement that he had sex with his victim to get some magical powers.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said the robbery suspect would be charged to court with sodomy and stealing.
She said, “The suspect has confessed to the crime. He said the sexual intercourse was to make his victim forget about the stealing. We will charge him to court with sodomy and stealing.”
In the Agege incident, Haruna told our correspondent that his friend, Babatunde, lured him into the operation, adding that they had realised N11,000 and some phones, before they were arrested by the Isokoko division.
He said, “I am a mechanic. My parents are responsible people. It was bad friendship that made me to go into robbery. My friend had lured me to go out with him to attack those pedestrians. I rode the motorcycle that we used for the operation. Jelili (Babatunde) had a toy gun that we used in dispossessing people of their property.”
The police spokesperson, Badmos said the suspects would soon be charged to court.