Operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Lagos State Command, have arrested four suspected teenage armed robbers who have been terrorising residents of Itire, Ijeshatedo and its environ.
The suspects are Taoheed Ogunjimi (17), Mathew Olumoso (16), Qudus Akala (18) and Akintoye Faruq (15).
It was learnt that the suspects were returning from a robbery operation when some members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), who had laid ambush for the teenage robbers, arrested them and handed them over to the police.
According to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr.Imohimi Edgal, the suspects have been terrorising residents of Itire, Ijeshatedo and its environ before their eventual arrest.
Edgal said after the suspects were arrested on August 26, twelve among the victims that were robbed had come over to the command to identify the suspects and some of the items stolen from them by the armed robbers.
He said: “In a bid to sustain the peace being experienced in the state, the police command would take the fight against armed robbery and other violent crimes to nooks and crannies of the state.
“We are not going to relent in the fight against crime; if the armed robbers are not resting we are also not going to let them breath, until we send them packing from Lagos State.”
The suspects claimed they were all friends, but denied being armed robbers, claiming that they were returning from a festival known as Ikotun festival, when they were arrested.
One of the suspects, Akala, said he did not know anything about the robbery, saying that they were only coming from a festival when they were arrested by the OPC and accused of robbery.
“We were returning from a festival, when some OPC members arrested I and my friends at about 7am and they said we were among the armed robbers that came to rob them in their area at Ijesha. Before we knew what was happening they had started beating us.”
He further said the items police claimed they found with them were not actually from them. “We don’t know anything about the items they presented before us.”
Ogunjinmi on his own admitted that one of his friends called Tunde brought a stolen item to his house.
“I was sleeping in my apartment when the so called Tunde came that he saw a phone on the roadside. Immediately he gave me the phone to check it, he ran away. I knew him at game center where we play lottery.
“On that fateful day, I was sleeping when he came to wake me up and said he saw a phone on the roadside and I collected the phone from him just to check it, but suddenly Tunde ran away. And I was wondering why he could run away, before I knew what was happening. I saw some members of OPC in my house and I was arrested. But I never knew the phone was a stolen one.”
Ogunjinmi explained that when he was arrested by the OPC, he tried to explain to them that the phone was given to him by his friend called Tunde that he know nothing about it, they didn’t listen to him.
He said: “I told the OPC that I didn’t know anything about the phone when they took me to their base. That my friend said he saw the phone on the roadside and picked it. The OPC members then asked me to produce that my friend, but I told them I don’t know where he is.
“That was how they started beating me and joined me with three other boys and took us to police station and said we were the ones who robbed on their street.”
The policemen were said to have recovered items like one toy gun, one Itel phone, three Nokia phones, two Techno phones, one Alcatel phone, Sony phone, one locally made pistol and live cartridges.
The CP, however, said, the suspects would be charged to court he also advice people to always speak up whenever they see something strange.