I ran away from home at 15 –Robbery suspect

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By Oluwatoyin Malik

Twenty-six-year-old Dayo Olorunniyi (26) had been involved in several armed robbery cases in Ibadan, Oyo State but was always smart enough to evade the long arm of the law even as his other gang members are languishing in prisons. His place of refuge was Lagos State where he would hibernate until the heat eased. But his last attempt on March 15, 2014 blew up in his face as he was caught before he could make another escape. Reports had it that the suspect and two others – Ademola Olagoke and Bamidele Kayode – went to rob one Mrs Muyibat (surname withheld), a food vendor, at Oluyoro area of the city at about 10p.m. in her shop. Dayo was said to have entered the shop with a locally-made double-barrel pistol, accompanied by Ademola, while Kayode waited outside on standby with the bike used for the operation. As the woman was being attacked, her husband, who was around, summoned courage, gripped Dayo and disarmed him. In trying to rescue his colleague, Ademola was reported to have injured the food vendor’s husband, who raised the alarm to alert people around. To avoid arrest, Kayode and Ademola escaped, leaving Dayo behind. Crime Reports gathered that one live cartridge was recovered from the scene while a gun and another live cartridge were recovered on March 22 when the two other suspects were arrested by operatives of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ibadan. In an interview with Crime Reports, Dayo confessed to the crime, saying that he was introduced to robbery by one Isiaka who is currently in Agodi prison.

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During Dayo’s revelation, he said: “I am an okada rider at Molete area of Ibadan but I live at Oja Igbo area. I am from Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State. I stopped going to school in 2002 and joined bad friends in playing about. I followed my friends to Ibadan when we ran away from home in 2003. We stayed with a friend’s brother at Oke Ado area and started picking aluminium scraps.

“My parents attempted to take me back to Ijebu-Igbo but I ran away so they did not see me until they returned home. I left aluminium scrap work and started riding okada. A girl had two children for me but we have gone our separate ways. I went to Lagos in 2006 and worked as a bus conductor. I met one Isiaka Ibrahim who is popularly called Saidi so that people would not know his real name. He gave me an okada to ply Oyingbo to Idumota.

“We both returned to Ibadan with his motorcycle. He connected me with one of his friends in 2012 who told me to join his robbery gang. I was the one riding okada to robbery operations. Other members are Isiaka Ibrahim and Azeez Jando.

“I have gone with them on three  robbery operations. We went to Elewure junction at Elebu, Ibadan and robbed a man who parked by the roadside waiting for someone; I was given N5,000. We also went to Anfani Street where the gang collected some money from a woman caught in a traffic jam. The third was at Felele area where we visited a shop to collect money.

“Isiaka had two guns that we used to take to robbery operations. He would give one to Jando. The two of them were arrested in 2012 and 2013 respectively and they are in Agodi prison. I usually escaped arrest because I used to stay with the motorcycle and whenever I heard shouts of thief! thief!!, I would just zoom off with the okada and return to Lagos. When the dust had settled, I would come back to Ibadan.

“I joined another gang but  was arrested at the first operation we would do together. We went to a shop at Oluyoro area at about 10p.m. and pretended as if we wanted to buy food in a restaurant. I drew out a gun but the woman’s husband came in at that moment and held my neck. I struggled with him, just as Ademola tried to loosen the man’s grip on me.

“When the man did not release me, my gang members left me and went away. The man called Agugu police station and I was arrested. I was transferred to SARS from there.”

In his own confession, Ademola Olagoke (27) from Ibadan, said: “I had no one to take care of me after my father’s death. I went to learn tyre sales but had no money to start my own business. I went to Lagos State to hustle and came back to Ibadan to start selling Tokunbo (used) tyres.

Unfortunately, the state government demolished my shop which was said to be under high tension wire.

“I started riding okada but the owner later took it from me. My brother bought me one motorcycle with which I continued working until one Abass, also an okada rider, asked me to take him to Basorun to pick the okada he was riding, unknown to me that he wanted to go and steal  the okada. When he saw someone coming, he ran away and asked me to move away quickly.

“We were pursued and when he saw that those in pursuit were getting closer, he jumped off the bike and ran away. In the process, I had an accident and was caught. I was still challenging the driver of the car which blocked me when they started calling me a thief. I was taken to a police station and transferred to SARS. The bike was not released to me. I had to go to Lagos to fend for myself when I had no means of survival.

“I was invited to Onigaari village area along Lagos-Ibadan expressway to clear the bush there. In the process of working, I saw a locally-made pistol and told Dayo. I met Dayo while I was riding okada. He said he would repair it and he did. The Oluyoro operation was the first operation we would  go with the gun. I was arrested by SARS operatives at midnight at my residence.”

Bamidele Kayode (25) also stated: “I am a motorcycle mechanic. I live in the same house with Ademola at Ojagbo. On the day of the incident, Dayo called me and said I should take him to his sister, a food vendor, at Oluyoro area.

“When I saw him pull out a gun, I left the place and returned home. I was very angry when Ademola came back home, telling him that I never knew what they wanted to do.  I have never done such a thing in my life. I have a stable means of livelihood.” Kayode admitted that he had been smoking hemp for the past three years.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Olabisi Okuwobi-Ilobanafor, confirmed the story when contacted, saying that the suspects would be charged to court after investigations.

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