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Blame fuel subsidy removal for my woes -Suspect

By Gracia Christopher

An accounting graduate of a University in the Republic of Benin who was arrested for armed robbery in Lagos ,has blamed his travails on the fuel subsidy removal.
Twenty -nine-year -old driver, Adeniran Jeremiah, facing interrogation at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters, said he was doing well until the fuel subsidy removal.
Jeremiah was a arrested by Lagos State Police Command for leading a three-man gang of brigands, who specialised in robbing night crawlers, especially ladies has blamed his woes to hardships caused by fuel subsidy removal.
The last operation was an attack on a lady, who was dispossessed of an undisclosed amount of money, phones,and other personal effects on her way to the peopular Fela shrine.
However, luck ran against Jerimiah, a bolt driver when he was recognize by the victim who met him while shopping in a mini supermaarket and raised the alarm.
Jeremiah,who was paraded yesterday among other suspects, by Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Idowu Owohunwa at Police headquarters, Ikeja, told how he went into the business of robbery.
Hear him:”I am a accounting graduate a University in the Republic of Benin. I took to bolt driving because of lack of jobs in the country, but I was able to take care of my bills,until the recent removal of fuel subsidy and when the fuel pump price rose to unaffordable level.
“After things bacame hard and unbearable for me, I decided to join another company called Rider. Thinking I would get relieve from rider company, yet the increase in fuel pump price continued to soar from N400 to almost N600, so , I was working hand to mouth.
“It was then,that I started thinking of different approaches to alliviate my suffering .It was while I was thinking on what to do to meet up with my daily target, that the devil sold the idea of robbing passengers to me. I contacted two of my friends and told them my idea and they aligned with me and told me that the the idea was beautiful.
“We strategized on how we would carry out our operations.My gang members, would pose as passengers in the vehicle ,while I would pretend as if I didn’t know them. So when we arrived to a lonely place, I would pretend that I had a flat tyre, so I would alight from the car, pretending to be checking the faulty tyre, there and them, my guys, who were armed would order me to go to the back of the vehicle. They would also do same to our victim, but when the victims resisted, I would join hands with my guys to deal with the victims to submission. We started robbery operations one month ago, and we have made up to N 2.10 million because we have so far shared N 700,000 each.
We used to collect expensive phones and other personal effects.
“We don’t rob any person we see on the road, we size up our targets and the most vulnerable are the ladies, who visit clubs at night. On the fateful day that I was arrested, I narrowly escaped being lynched if not for the divine intervention of good Nigerians, who pleaded that I should be handed over to the police, I would have been a dead person.I went to shopping in a mini supermarket in Ikotun ,where a female victim we robbed penultimate Friday, recognized me and raise the alarm that I was among the people who robbed her. I was not masked during the robbery operation, so she recognized me and I couldn’t deny it, but God spaire my life as I was immediately taken to the police station.
“My regret is that I was impatient as I was on the fast lane to beat the economic hardship imposed on us by the fuel subsidy removal. My advice to the youths, is that they should be patient to see if the government will give us palliative, but to be candid, taxi drivers, especially Uber, Bolt and Riders, are not finding the fuel subsidy removal funny as we don’t make gains and we can’t take care of our daily needs.”
Lagos State Police Public Relation Officer(PPRO), SP Benjamin Hundeyin, who represented Owohunwa, said the suspect was arrested July 17, 2023 when a lady who booked a ride from Ikotun and the gang robbed her of some money and other belongings.
Hundeyin, however, warned passengers to be careful of the kind of vehicle they board at night, as robbers masquerade as drivers, adding,”once a driver stops at a lonely place at night and begin to tell stories of vehicle breakdown, know that danger may be lurking around and know whether it is possible to raise the alarm, but with the newly launched operation flush ,our tactical units are flushing criminals out of the state”.

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