“You again”? This was the question posed by an operative of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja, Lagos, on sighting a member of a robbery gang that was arrested recently by his colleagues.
The suspect, Kolawole Ajayi, was discovered to have been arrested on two occasions by the Squad for robbery and charged to court. Between 2006 till date, he was discovered to have served five years in jail. But after serving each jail term, rather than turning a new leaf, the recalcitrant suspect would go back to his own vomit, more hardened.
Hear him: “I am a School Certificate holder and also computer literate. I was formerly selling computer and phone accessories at Computer Village but I had no shop. All I was doing then, was to hawk them along the street of Computer Village. That was since 2006. Along the line, I started buying stolen goods and laptops from some of my friends in computer village. You see, most of the items they sell along the street in Computer Village are stolen. But because I was making huge profits from it, I could not resist the temptation of continuing.
“I was arrested in 2006 by policemen from Mosafejo division for buying a stolen laptop. I was charged to the Igbosere High court but was granted bail, after awaiting trial for two months in the prison.”
His mere visit to the prison apparently opened his eyes to other acts of criminality,as barely had he returned than he graduated into other forms of robbery.
“In 2007, after I was released, I got a gun and started robbing people at gun point. It was a one man’s show. I stole laptops and phones at gunpoint. But again, I was arrested and charged to the Ikeja High Court, from where I was remanded in Kirikiri prison where I spent two years”.
After serving his two years jail term, he reportedly continued what he knew how to do best and as expected, was arrested, charged to court and ended up in his second home, the Kirikiri prison for the third time!
Like a dog that would always return to its vomit, the Ogun state-born suspect who was released after one year, continued his heinous crime. But this time around, he decided to form his own gang which specialized in armed banditry.
“After I was released in 2012, I went to the African shrine in May, where I met Olalekan, Femi, Sylvester and Lucky. We got friendly and exchanged phone numbers and from there I formed a gang of five. So far we have operated in areas like Ikosi, Ketu, Ogudu, Dolphin estate and Magodo.
And our targets are usually residential homes. Before operation, we would just be roaming round the area until we see a building we could easily penetrate”
The gang as gathered, started operating in June. In the month of December, they reportedly intensified their operation in preparation for the Christmas celebration. But unfortunately for them, they met their water loo, following their arrest.
The gang as gathered, stormed a building at Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, in the first week of December, where they dispossessed their victims of cash and other valuables.
But while the operation was on, one of the residents was said to have alerted policemen attached to Dolphin division, who stormed the scene. Sighting the policemen, the robbers scampered in different directions for escape. But unfortunately for one of them later identified as Chibueze, he was shot in the thigh as he attempted to scale through the fence.
He was transferred to SARS and during interrogation mentioned the names of other members of his gang. Sources at SARS said it took them two weeks to trail Kolawole. His arrest, reportedly led to those of four members of the gang.
Asked why he did not resign from robbery, he replied: “ Robbery is the only job I can do. My several visits to the prison have hardened me. So, I can’t do a decent job other than robbery.”