Two robbery suspects arrested by the Lagos State Police Command have said that musicians sang their praises in parties in the state. The two suspects ─ Saheed Amoo and Taju Rasheed ─ were arrested by operatives of the command’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad after a tip-off.
It was gathered that Amoo and Rasheed, who belonged to a seven-man gang, had come to a hotel and a restaurant near the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, for an operation when they were apprehended by the police. The robbery gang, who were armed with guns, had opened fire on the police, leading to a shootout.
In the process, our correspondent gathered that four members of the gang were brought down by the policemen. In the shootout, Amoo was taken alive and he led the police to Rasheed’s residence, and identified him as a member of the gang. 28-year-old Amoo from Ilorin, Kwara State said he and the gang usually lavished the proceeds of robbery on musicians, adding that many of them sang their praises at any party they attended.
He said, “My nickname is Argentina. People call me Argentina because I support the country at football competitions. We started robbery in 2009. We robbed in places such as Obalende, Ajah, Osborne Road, and Ikoyi. We used guns in our operations, but I don’t know where they got the guns from.
“We usually snatched vehicles. We once snatched a Honda CRV and it was sold for N350,000. I was given N45,000. We also snatched Volkswagen Golf at another operation. We have gone on many operations this year.
“I spend my money on musicians because I go to clubs. Other members do too. So, musicians sing for us during parties.”
For Rasheed, 27, who hails from Oyo Town in Oyo State, he confessed that he was the driver of the gang, adding that he made N30,000 from each operation.
He said, “They call me pilot because I drive the gang. I was actually a commercial driver before. I met the gang in Isolo, Lagos. My wife does not know I rob, she thinks I still work with the road transport union.
“On each of the operations, I made about N30,000. I used the money to keep my family moving. I also go clubbing. I was not arrested at the shootout in Ikeja, I was arrested in my house.”
According to the police, items recovered from the gang included two daggers, two locally made pistols, and fully loaded magazines of AK-47 rifles. Our correspondent learnt that the Commissioner of Police, Kayode Aderanti, had directed the Operation Commander, SARS, Abba Kyari to go after the suspects.