Five suspected robbers have been arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly stealing foreign and local currencies, among other valuables estimated at N1m, from a woman on New Year’s Eve.
The suspects, who also collected the victim’s American visa card, gold trinkets, phone, were said to have called her husband on the telephone afterwards, demanding N25,000 to release the valuables to her.
The case was reported at the Ketu Police Station and was referred to operatives of the RRS, who arrested the suspects.
The 58-year-old woman, identified only as Alhaja, allegedly told the police in her statement that she was robbed at Ketu bus stop, Ketu, around 9pm on December 31, 2017.
She said, “I was going to my house in Ikorodu after visiting my children on New Year’s Eve when I boarded a tricycle heading for Ketu bus stop.
“I alighted close to the Ketu bridge on Ikorodu Road around 9pm. I was the only one, as other passengers had dropped off before reaching the bus stop.
“Immediately I alighted, I was surrounded by five young men, who wielded knives and daggers. They collected my phone and a hand bag containing $800 (N288,000), 400 Qatari Riyal (N39,548), N45,000, an American visa card, a pouch containing gold trinkets and a purse with unspecified amount of money.
“After collecting all I had on me, they let me go. They then started using my phone to call my husband that I should bring N25,000 to collect my phone and all they took from me. When the harassment became unbearable, I decided to block the line.”
She said she reported the matter at the Ketu Police Station from where it was referred to the RRS.
The RRS, in a statement, said the victim’s Hawaii phone was sold by the suspects to one Michael Ogunnaike, who was arrested by the police.
Ogunnaike was said to have led the police to the gang’s hideout on Ikosi Road, where 13 people were arrested on Wednesday.
During a parade of the 13 suspects, Alhaja was said to have identified one Sola Oyedele, as one of those who attacked her that night.
Oyedele, who allegedly owned up to the crime, was said to have identified the other members of the gang to include Adejuwon Adeniyi, Alex Ikoku, Salau Damilola and Mohammed Muritala.
He reportedly said the gang was led by one Sikiru, aka Hauwa, who was at large.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti, who confirmed the arrests, said the police were making efforts to increase security network around the state.
He added that the state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, had ordered that the case be transferred to the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad for further investigation.