Robbery suspect says he is under a spell

A robbery suspect in the police net has lamented the fact that he may have been placed under a spell to continue robbing despite the fact that God has saved his life for years.

An armed robbery suspect in the cell of the  Special Anti-Robbery Squad, (SARS), Ikeja, Lagos, Ugochukwu Felix, 28, is full of regrets and thinks he has been bewitched by some forces and that his constant resolve not to rob again has not been successful.

Felix who was nabbed by the crime busters after his gang snatched a Toyota Honda car at the Tolu area of Ajegunle in the state, feels his life of crime is not ordinary because God has always spared his life whenever he robs and gets caught, but he still finds himself going back to crime.

A very sober Felix who was in tears while narrating his ordeal to Vanguard Newspaper, said he has tried on his own to eke out an honest living but something keeps drawing him into stealing despite the fact that he is always unfortunate to get caught after each attempt.

Exonorating his parents whom he said have done everything humanly possible to lead him in the right path, said his journey into crime started several years back when he began as a pick pocket, before graduating into a bus robber, also called 'one-chance', and then to full fledged robbery.

Hear him:

"I have always being a stubborn and very unruly child, just like the black sheep of the family, always causing my parents pain and agony. It was this same stubbornness that made me drop out from school, this same attitude made me quit my apprenticeship where I was learning refrigerator repairs.

I was indeed, a source of pain to my mother. My parents have done all within their capacity to ensure that I live a responsible life. But I don’t know why I live a very irresponsible life.

I am hard working and can do any work but I don’t know what is wrong with me. It is like I am under some sort of spell or under a curse, which is why I keep committing different crimes and disgracing my family.

Before now, I struggled for existence at Alaba international market and Ladipo market. Trader’s give me commission for directing customers to their shops, that is what I was doing before this unruly behavior started manifesting.

I started with pick-pocketing and snatching of bags at bus stops several years ago, about ten years now. Unfortunately, whenever I stole I got caught. I have lost count of the number of times I have been arrested by the police, but this is the first time they transferred me to SARS.

All my life, I never knew that a section like SARS existed in the police. Each time I get arrested by the police, after about two or three weeks, I get released because nobody would come to bail me.

The friends that introduced me to pocket picking and bag snatching abandoned me for fear of been arrested when I was always getting caught at each operation, as they felt I had bad luck. The proceeds I made from pick-pocket were what I use to sustain myself.

Later, I joined a robbery gang that specialized in ‘one chance’ known also as ‘ push me down.’ I was a member and participated in several operations but made very little from the operations. After the operation, the leader of the gang would share the phones stolen and I normally sold mine.

If not for God, I would have died a long time ago. There was a particular operation I went for which made me know that God loves me. We were three that went for the operation. After carrying it out successfully, the other two were knocked down by a moving vehicle and both of them died instantly.

When I was still doing pick-pocket, a colleague of mine was lynched to death while I narrowly escaped. When I joined ‘one chance’, police officers engaged us in a gun battle and killed three of my gang members but I still escaped.

On the operation that I was arrested by SARS, I had gone to see my girl friend at Ajegunle the previous day. From there, I went to a night club at Apapa area to spend the night.

While clubbing, I met four old friends I knew in Ajegunle and Apapa areas. I told them that in the morning, I would go with them to Mile 2 since they came in a commercial bus. They agreed and early in the morning, I joined in their vehicle without knowing that they were going for a robbery operation.

While we were passing through Tolu in Ajegunle, the driver of the commercial bus stopped immediately we saw a resident about to drive his car out of his compound. Two of the gang members alighted from the bus with their guns and attacked the man, snatched his car and drove off.

As soon as I saw what was happening, I became uncomfortable and alighted from the bus because it has been long I participated in robbery operation. Unfortunately, the stolen car had not moved up to ten poles when one of the tires deflated and we all came out and fled in different directions.

It was while I was attempting to escape that a resident who saw me alighting from the commercial bus raised alarm that I was part of the robbers that attacked the victim.

Immediately he raised the alarm, other residents joined in the chase and I was caught and dragged to the scene of the robbery. It was then they discovered one of the locally made pistols inside the car with some cartridges.

I promised my God to deliver me and if God can save me from this, I will never go back into robbery again. If I get out from this place in one piece, I will go to my father and ask for forgiveness. I plead with youths to shun bad company and live responsibly."

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