Two armed robbery suspects met their doom when they robbed a man not knowing he is a senior police officer.
Two members of an armed robbery gang, Lukmon Bello and Jide Abbass, have met their albatross when they tried to rob a man who turned out to be a senior police officer, as they were not only shot but arrested.
The duo who specialized in robbing people while withdrawing money from banks in Lagos and Ogun States, thought it was business as usual when they attacked a man and tried to snatch a bag containing some money in front of a business center in Oke-Ilewo area of Ogun State.
The criminals had allegedly trailed the man after he withdrew some money from a branch of Sterling Bank, Abeokuta to the business centre, but unknown to them, the man turned out to be a Divisional Crime Officer (DCO), attached to one of the divisions in Abeokuta.
It was gathered that while the unsuspecting policeman was inside the business centre, the suspects who had trailed him in their operational Mercedes Benz 190 car, reportedly parked beside his car.
They went into swift operation and opened the car with a master key and removed the envelop in which the owner had kept his money but their luck had disappeared as the policeman who was just coming out of the business centre, sighted them and fired a shot at one of them.
While cooling their heels at the Ogun State Police Command headquarters, 46-year-old Bello, from Ibadan, Oyo State, said he was a commercial bus driver shuttling between Mile 12, Ketu and Oshodi roads in Lagos before he took to robbery so as to be able to feed his two wives and six children.
"I was initially into international trade. I usually travelled to Dubai to buy men’s clothes to sell until the trade crumbled. I had also travelled to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, twice, to perform Holy Pilgrimage.
While the going was good, I got married to two wives. But along the line, my business crumbled and I started driving commercial bus. At a point, I could barely feed my family. In the process, I met Jide Abass, who introduced me to robbery.
On that fateful day, we left Ikorodu where we live, to Abeouta to operate. It was Jide who suggested we went far to operate to avoid being recognised during operation.
We trailed this particular man to Oke-Ilewo. We saw him counting some money and kept some in the safe of his car. We did not know he would not stay long inside the office he entered.
We were busy ransacking his vehicle for the money he left and never noticed him coming out until he was close. As we attempted to enter our car and flee he pulled out a pistol and shot me in the thigh.
I managed to hop into my Mercedez benz car which was used for the operation and sped off towards Ibara Housing en-route Kuto/Abeokuta/Isiun Expressway. But I became unconscious as a result of loss of blood and in the process ran into an oncoming vehicle on reaching the Ogun State NUT Conference Hall junction, close to MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta.
Some good Samaritans who did not know what actually happened came to our rescue and rushed us to the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, for treatment. But to our surprise, the man who shot me located us and arrested us. It was after we were arrested that we discovered that he was a policeman. My wives and children are not aware I have been arrested. Greed lured me into this."
Bello's partner in crime, Abass, 45, an indigene of Ilesha, Osun State, blamed the government's introduction of the cashless policy in the country for his arrest, stating that before the introduction of the policy, it was much easier to rob than now.
"We usually laid ambush for bank customers, especially those who had gone to withdraw money. It is not difficult to notice them. For the men, it is either their pockets would be bulging or they would come out with the usual black nylon.
For customers who came in their vehicles, we would either ambush them or trail them to safer places where we would collect the withdrawn amount. But since the introduction of cashless policy, people don’t usually got out with cash. Even when they go to eateries or super markets, they make use of POS and this has been affecting our operations.
We started operating in Ikorodu, Lagos State, but since the police seem to have braced up to the challenge, we decided to relocate to Ogun State. This is our fourth operation here. I am ashamed of myself because my two wives may likely divorce me if they find out their husband is a robber."