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Iíve been cursed, says robber who attacked DPO

Posted by By Juliana Francis on 2005/08/16 | Views: 263 |

Iíve been cursed, says robber who attacked DPO

A suspected robber, who met his waterloo when he dared to rob a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in the Abule-Egba area of Lagos has blamed his criminal tendencies on a curse placed on him by an unknown person.

A suspected robber, who met his waterloo when he dared to rob a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in the Abule-Egba area of Lagos has blamed his criminal tendencies on a curse placed on him by an unknown person.

Twenty-eight-year old Friday Tojare said he used to be the most honest amongst all his fatherís children until the day his father gave him school fees meant for him and his siblings.

He said: " I swear to God dem don swear for me to be thief! My father used to tell me that I had a very good star. They must have seen that I would succeed in life. A wicked person must have known about it and placed a curse on me." It was as soon as I was arrested that my eyes opened. I have not been stealing with my ordinary eyes. I was in junior secondary school(JSS) in 1990, when my father gave me money to go and pay my school fees and that of my siblings. I took the money and entered bush. Tell me, is that normal? For more than ten years now, Iíve not reached my house!"

Tojare was arrested with a member of his gang identified as Oriyomi Shekoni, 21. They had tried to rob a building housing a DPO with other neighbours.
According to Tojare, they had stormed the building at about 8pm that fateful July 23, based on information received from one of the tenantsí younger brother. Tojare claimed that their "pointer" was one Frank. He said Frank told them that his elder brother, a fraudster, would be travelling the next day and had much money on him.

Knowing he wouldnít be able to do the operation alone, Tojare enlisted the assistance of his cronies identified as Akeem and Sheriff, including his buddy, Shekoni.
They were already ransacking the house of a female tenant with two children when their member who was kept outside as the "watcher" came to tell them that policemen were coming.
He said: "We had two guns supplied by Akeem. We were shocked to hear that the policemen were coming! It was like somebody gave them information. We rushed out of the compound, saw a Golf car and waved our guns at the driver. We didnít even know he was a policeman, let alone a DPO. We dragged him out and shot repeatedly into the air to Shakara him!"

They allegedly seized the manís gun and walkie-talkie. They were trying to escape in the car when they noticed a police patrol van, approaching. Sensing it was only a matter of time before the Anti-robbery team ran them to earth, the four bandits abandoned the car and fled in different directions. While others made good their escape, Tojare was not so lucky. He was arrested and used as bait to catch Shekoni.
Tojare said he had taken part in all sorts of crimes before graduating to full robbery. He was first an agbero that collects toll from commercial riders. Then he started pick-pocketing. Later it was breaking into peopleís houses and shops.

He added: " I also operated as a commercial bus robber. We would board a bus posing as passengers. We would later order the driver to park at gunpoint and rob all the passengers. Weíve never had to kill anybody because no one had ever refused cooperating at the sight of guns." He said they made as much as N80, 000 on a dayís operation. Revealing more about Frank, he said before they stormed the building, Frank was already with his elder brother. Frankís job was to talk his brother into parting with the money at the sight of the robbers to avoid possible bloodshed.

Shekoni appeared unrepentant. Throughout his chat with Daily Sun he kept laughing as he talked about his exploits. He said his area of specialisation was in snatching necklace from the neck of owners in, heavy traffic. He explained that his method was to be in commercial bus and monitor private vehicles. Once he sights a prospective prey, he gets down.

He said: " I will tap the window of the person. Points frantically at his tyres. They would wind down the window to check. I will snatch the necklace, run in between the cars to escape. I know they would not come down. No! No! I donít snatch handsets! I donít believe in it. Whatís the use of snatching something you would be afraid to bring out as it continues to ring?"

He said he decided to follow Tojare to rob at Abule-Egba not only because the gang called him a coward when he developed cold feet but also because, " at the mention of money, my ears will stand. When they said much money was involved, my ears come stand!" Shekoni said. He told Daily Sun with pride that he and Tojare a conductor, were the best dressed conductors in Lagos State. Grinning from ear to ear, he said: " You wouldnít believe we were conductors if you see us dressed up!" Daily Sun gathered that Frank had been arrested and the police are still trying to track down the other suspects.

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