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Robbing to play ball

Posted by John Osido’s on 2008/12/18 | Views: 1425 |

Robbing to play ball


He had a dream: to play soccer at the international level, but lack of funds stood between him and that dream. Then, luck smiled on him; so he thought.

He had a dream: to play soccer at the international level, but lack of funds stood between him and that dream. Then, luck smiled on him; so he thought. He met a "good Samaritan," who offered to sponsor him because he was impressed with his soccer artistry. That chance meeting marked the beginning of John Osido’s journey into the world of robbery.Jude Isiguzo reports.

At 18 and with remarkable soccer skills, the future seems bright for him.

Until his arrest, he was playing for Manchester Football Club of Ikorodu, Lagos. He was reputed to be one of their best until his adventure into crime.

John Osido, now a suspected member of one of the most dreaded armed robbery gangs terrorising the Lagos metropolis, was arrested by the police after he was shot by a member of his gang, Luke, following a misunderstanding.

A Golf car, one AK47, one pump action, one double barrel gun, five magazines, 105 automatic rifle bullets and 11 cartridges were allegedly recovered from him.

The suspect, who told The Nation that he went into robbery for money to buy his football kits, said his gang specialised in attacking traders who come to Lagos State to buy goods.

Osido was paraded alongside some other suspects at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters in Ikeja.

Narrating his journey into the underworld, Osido said he was pushed into robbery by someone who promised to sponsor his football career up to international level.

His words: "We went for a competition in Bariga. It was at the competition that I met Mike who said he liked the way I played and would want to sponsor me to any level.

"He gave me his address and collected mine. We became friends. One day, he came to my house at 27, Padro Avenue, Ikorodu and asked me to dress up that he wanted us to go out together with some of his friends and I accepted."

Osido said they went to a night club on Lagos Island and stayed there till the early hours of the next day.

"In the morning, as we were coming back, we got to Balogun Market and they asked me to stay inside the car, that they were coming. They went into the market and in less than 20 minutes, they ran back like people who were being chased, jumped into the car and we zoomed off without wasting any time.

"When we got to Mike’s house, he gave me N20, 000. I was curious so, I asked him what they went into the market to do and he told me it was robbery. Mike told me that they target traders who come early from within and outside the state to buy their goods. That was how I became a member of the gang.

"I went on three operations with the gang and I used my own share to buy my football kits," Osido said.

On how he was arrested, Osido said the gang members went to eat one afternoon, about three weeks ago, and used the occasion to perfect the strategy for their next operation the following day.

However, when they were returning from the restaurant, he had a disagreement with Luke who complained that he had no respect for him.

It was during the argument that Luke shot Osido in the legs.

"Before I knew what was happening, Luke fired my legs and I started shouting. It was while I was shouting that some policemen on patrol came to my rescue. Luke and other members of the gang in the Golf car, which we were in, took to their heels.

"The policemen took me to a hospital where I was treated. I have taken them to both Mike’s and Luke’s houses but they were not there," he said.

Police spokesman Frank Mba, a Superintendent of Police, said the investigation of the case was still ongoing and that policemen were making efforts to arrest other members of the gang.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.