The Lagos State Police Command has arrested members of an armed robbery gang, who made use of Mobile Police uniforms to perpetrate their acts in the state.
The four members are Julius George, Samuel Orgah, Lucky Oliseh and Lucky Friday. Our correspondent learnt that they were rounded up on Sunday, June 22, at the Ile Zik area on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.
It was further gathered that the suspects were arrested following a tip-off to the Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, who directed men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, led by SP Abba Kyari, to go after them.
Our correspondent learnt that the gang had earlier escaped arrest during a robbery operation involving a trailer of iron rods valued at N80m.
From their confessions, it was gathered that other operations of the gang included robbing a trailer load of rice at Oju-Elegba area worth N4.5m and that of a tanker carrying engine oil worth N11m.
However, they were arrested during the Ile Zik area operation, which was said to be their fourth operation, and involving about N8m.
The suspects confessed to the police that George, before the operations, had promised to provide them with police uniforms, which he did.
The 34-year-old George from Otupko, Benue State, who is also said to be the gang leader, confessed that he lied to other members of the gang that he was a policeman.
George, whose nickname is Mopol, added that he had bought the Mobile Police uniforms from a market and given them to his gang members.
He said, “This was not the first time we would use police uniforms for robbery. In 2013, I was arrested by the police and charged to court. I was remanded for some time, but my family came and I was released on bail. Later, the court discharged me for want of evidence.
“While in remand at the Kirikiri Prisons, I met Sam (Orgah). When I came out of prisons, a friend of mine called Benjamin invited me again for another job. I was asked to escort a truck of engine oil from Apapa to Mushin, because they still regarded me as a policeman. They paid me N5,000 when they offloaded.”
George, who is married with children and lived in Olorunshobare Street, Iyana Ipaja, Lagos confessed that he had also partaken in robbery operations on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
However, 33-year-old Orgah also from Otukpo, Benue State, in his own confession, said he had earlier been arrested for armed robbery in 2011, and had come out of prison in 2013. He added that he used to rob cars in the Epe area, and was making use of a locally-made gun purchased from one Suleiman.
For Oliseh, who hails from Amai, Delta State, he met George only three weeks before their arrest when the latter invited him for the N8m robbery in Ile Zik area.
Thirty-three-year-old Friday, who is from Jessey, Delta State, and worked at a Shipping company in Apapa Wharf, said he met George three months ago at Iyana -Oba where they became friends.
“I have never gone on an operation with Mopol before. He only invited me to come with him to collect money. I did not know it was robbery,” he said.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, confirmed that the gang members were arrested during a robbery operation where they had worn a T-shirt with a ‘Mopol’ inscription.
She said, “They are not policemen. They were arrested during a robbery operation in a T-shirt with an inscription, ‘Mopol’. The SARS is still investigating.”