Barman arrested after his first robbery attempt

Diminutive Oliseh Ojobo certainly cuts a picture of innocence for a 21- year-old man. The native of Delta State, who moved to Lagos two years ago, hopefully for a better life, is for the moment having his dreams on hold.

Ojobo was apprehended by security men at the Alaba International Market four weeks ago, when he accompanied two friends, Adekunle Yusuf and Tony Abose aka Old Baba, to a robbery operation. It was to be his first robbery operation.

Confessing his role in the matter to CRIME DIGEST, he said, “I lived with my uncle and I worked as a bar keeper at a hotel on Ajangbadi Road. Yusuf and Abose often came to the hotel where I worked with some other friends. They spent a lot of money on such occasions and would buy me food and drinks.

“Although I got to know Abose through his frequent visits to my place of work, Yusuf was already a friend. I knew him through my elder brother Femi. I had no idea though that they were robbers. With time, I got close to the group.”

On Nov. 5, 2012, Abose went to Ojobo’s workplace. After enquiring about Yusuf’s whereabouts, he was said to have waited for a few minutes before Yusuf himself walked in.

Ojobo made his cell -phone available when Abose allegedly requested to make use of it. After a futile call to a friend who wasn’t responding, the latter decided to leave.

“He told me that they were headed for Alaba market. Already, I had planned to go to Alaba. Since I was through with my shift, I told them that I would go along with them,” Ojobo told CRIME DIGEST.

The three men thereafter left for the market. After a casual inspection of the environment, Abose settled for a provision store. He instructed Ojobo to approach the sales girl with a request to buy a sachet of pure water. Without asking questions, Ojobo moved towards the store entrance while Yusuf and Old Baba went through a side gate that led to the back of the compound.

Meanwhile, Ojobo was a few metres away receiving a phone call which had come in when he was making his purchase. Just as he hung up, a gunshot was heard.

Recalling what happened next, Yusuf said, “After I had taken all the money I could find, Abose and I left the store. We had not gone far when we heard the sales girl screaming that she had just been robbed. Abose immediately pulled out his gun and shot in the air. There was a stampede. We quickly seized the opportunity to mingle with the crowd and run to Sowemimo Street.

“While we were running away, Abose phoned Ojobo to find out where he was. Although they talked, I don’t know what transpired between them. Abose called Ojobo to confirm his status. By the third time, Ojobo’s phone was switched off. It was at this point that we suspected he might have been caught.”

While the two friends waited at Sowemimo Street, Ojobo was holed up in a nearby swamp around Ilufu community where the robbery had taken place. When it seemed that the stampede was over, he crawled out from his hiding place, dirty and unkempt.

“That area was not a familiar place to me so when the stampede was in progress I tried to hide in the nearest compound I could find. I noticed it was close to a swamp so I moved into the swamp. When things seemed a bit calmer, I came out but because of the state of my appearance, the residents wondered what had happened to me.

“As I walked on the street, my appearance drew attention and some persons approached me, asking what had happened to me. I was reluctant to say anything and because I couldn’t give a satisfactory explanation, the neighbourhood security was called in. It was the security who sent for the sales girl and she identified me, saying I was one of the robbers. I was beaten mercilessly and taken afterwards to the Ajangbadi Police Division from where I was brought to the Special Anti -Robbery Squad,” Ojobo said.

Since there was no means of communicating with Ojobo, Abose recruited some street urchins at Sowemimo. He told them that there had been a robbery at Ilufu and the urchins should find out if anyone had been caught in connection with the incident.

The boys went away and after a while, they returned with the news that a young man had been arrested by the police in connection with the robbery. The boys were paid N6,000 for their effort.

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umaru Manko, confirmed the arrests.

“The sum of N96,000 was realised from that robbery attempt; Yusuf received N32000 as his share. He was, however, arrested two weeks ago after he was sighted in an eatery at Alaba by the manager of the hotel where Ojobo used to work. The investigative police officer, who handled Ojobo’s case at Ajangbadi was immediately alerted and Yusuf was arrested. Efforts are being made to arrest Abose, who is still on the run,” he said.

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