A 29-year-old suspected leader of an armed robbery gang, Kunle Akerele, alias Kunle Poly, has told the police in Lagos why his gang cut off three fingers of a middle-aged man at Aboru, Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, during a robbery operation, Daily Trust has reported.

source : timeofgist. Ng

Akerele confessed that he and his accomplices chopped off the man’s fingers for refusing to hand over his gold-plated wedding ring when they asked him to do so.

The suspect, who was arrested by the Inspector- General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), said yesterday at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja, where he was paraded along with five of his gang members, “I am the leader of a six-man gang. We were operating at Agege and the Aboru area of Iyana Ipaja. We specialised in house-to-house raiding. We were not wicked when we started but the people made us to become wicked. Victims were always deceiving us that they had no money at home.

“Our anger was that when we knocked on people’s doors, they would hide their expensive phones and give us the less expensive ones. One day, my second-in-command suggested that we should start teaching them lessons so that others would learn from them.

“So we bought sharp cutlasses which we began using in severing stubborn victims’ hands. On January 13 this year, we raided the Aboru community because we were cash-strapped. We were surprised that each house we entered they would bring small Nokia phones as if they planned it. We were surprised when we entered one big man’s house who parked posh cars in front of his compound. We requested for phones but he gave us small phones. We saw the expensive wedding ring on his finger. But he was behaving as if it was too difficult for him to remove.

“So Tunde said we should cut off his three fingers and removed the ring. And we did. Immediately the wife saw what happened, she quickly removed her own. When we saw how the game worked out well for us, we went back to the other victims that had given us small phones and gave them machete cuts on their hands, fingers or wrists, and continued like that in other houses. Those who gave us big phones and laptops were spared. We cut off over 20 people’s wrists that day..

“We did it so that the news would spread and when we come the next time, people would bring out their money quickly. How could it be said that people no longer use expensive phones? Those who dared us regretted their actions.

“We bought our guns from Tunde, who we settled each time we went for a robbery operation. Tunde bought the guns from a member of a local vigilante outfit, the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC). We thought that the guns were expensive but we later discovered that he bought them for N20,000 each.”

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, who confirmed the arrest, said that the command got information from members of the public of the activities of the gang.

Muazu said that when detectives from the IRT and the State Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) moved in and arrested the receiver of the gang’s stolen goods, he led the police to arrest members of the gang.

“Over 85 phones and 33 laptops were recovered from the buyer of the stolen items. My men are after two members of the gang who are on the run,” he added.

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