Robbery: We cut off 20 victims’ wrists in Lagos –Suspect

●’OPC member supplies us arms’

Some suspected robbers yesterday told the police in Lagos that they had cut off the wrists of at least 20 victims. The nine suspects were apprehended by the operatives of the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Intelligence Response Unit (IRT) after they chopped off a victim’s wrist at Ayobo area of the Lagos metropolis. It was learnt that the suspects cut off the hand of the victim when they were carrying out a house-to-house robbery operation in January. One of the victims’ stolen phones was traced to the house of one the suspects, Toyin Adewale, at Iyana-Ipaja.

This led to the arrest of the leader of the gang, identified as Kunle Akerele. Akerele said his own role as a leader of the gang was to give instruction to the boys on what to do. He said: “We were not wicked when we started. But the victims made us to become hardened because they always lied to us that they had no money whenever we went for operation. “Most times when they give us small phones, we always see reasons with them and leave. Even when we told them to give us their phones, they would hand over small NOKIA phones to us. But we expected iPhones and Android phones not the ones they were given us.

“We later discovered they were deceiving us whenever we demanded bigger items and other valuables. One day, my second in command, Tunde, suggested we should start teaching them a lesson by cutting off the wrist of anyone who claimed he had no money.” Akerele said that was how they acquired new machetes and invaded some houses at Aboru in January, because they were cash trapped. He said: “Tunde cut off wrists of those who claimed they didn’t have money. About 20 of them were affected.

Their wrists were cut off while parts of their bodies were inflicted with machete cuts.” On his part, Adewale said he only sold the stolen phones for N5,000, N10,000 and N20,000, depending on the grade. Another member of the gang disclosed that his role was to link the gang to a member of a vigilance group and Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), who supplied them arms.

He said at the end of each operation, he received between N3,000 and N4,000 from the gang. The state Police Commissioner, Zubairu Muazu, said the suspects would be charged to court at the end of investigation. He added that efforts were still on to arrest other members of the gang. Muazu, who warned criminally- minded individuals to leave Lagos for good, said they would have same fate befall them if they refused to heed the advice.

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