A 17-year-old undergraduate, Gideon Bamidele, has told his interrogators that he bought a toy gun for N1,290 which he used to rob.
Bamidele, who claimed to be a second year Computer Science student of Caleb University, Lagos State, was arrested by the police for allegedly trying to use the toy gun to rob an Uber driver, Mr. Otun Olugbenga, of his vehicle.
The suspect tried to snap Olugbenga’s neck and snatch his Toyota Corolla car. He was arrested with his partner, Afeez Anifowoshe (20).
The Police Commissioner, Imohimi Edgal, who paraded the suspects, said on May 21, a team of policemen at Itowolo ‘pin down point,’ arrested Bamidele and Anifowoshe. Edgal said the suspects were caught while attempting to snatch a Toyota Corolla car with registration number KJA 911 EG, near Itowolo Bridge, with a toy pistol. He said: “It must be noted that the hoodlums boarded the vehicle from Surulere en route to Agric.
However, on getting near Itowolo bridge, Gideon (Bamidele), while armed with a toy pistol, grabbed the driver by the neck; thus the driver lost control of the car, hit the kerb and the vehicle somersaulted. The driver raised the alarm which attracted the policemen at the ‘pin down point’ to the scene. They chased the robbers and arrested them. They also recovered the vehicle.
Both men would be charged for armed robbery as soon as investigation into the case is over.” Speaking with our correspondent, Bamidele said the idea of acquiring a toy gun to rob people started last week when one of his friends, ‘C Boy,’ told him that it could be used to threaten people and snatch their vehicles. He said: “My friend told me that they sell toy gun in big shops. I went to Shoprite, Surulere, to get one. I brought the toy gun for N1,290.”
Narrating their encounter with the Uber driver, Bamidele said: “We picked a cab at Surulere to Ikorodu. On the way, I held the driver from behind to take control of the wheel. In the process, the vehicle somersaulted and we were arrested by policemen who were close by.
“My father is an estate developer while my mother is a full housewife. I feel useless as I am being paraded as an armed robbery suspect. I wish to be a great Computer scientist. Unfortunately, I didn’t think twice about the consequences of it when my friend came up with such idea. My father stopped paying my school fees when he realised that I had joined bad guys.”
The 50-year-old Uber driver, Olugbenga, said he was at Shoprite at Ogunsanya Street, Surulere, Lagos waiting for the next rider but he was unable to get anybody, until those boys approached him that they were going to Stadium. He said: “We negotiated the price at N1,000. As we left Shoprite, the boy in red T-shirt, whose name I later discovered as Gideon, told me that his partner would alight at Stadium and he would from there go to Barracks and later to Ikorodu.
It was about 11p.m. “He asked me if I could take him to Ikorodu and I said there was no problem as far he would pay me. We agreed on N4,500. When we got to Mile 12, he said he wanted to urinate. I parked where there were people. “He told me that he was afraid that he could not come down from my vehicle. His friend got down from the vehicle but he said that he would urinate when we got to Agric bus stop.
“Earlier, I had asked them if they had anything incriminating but they said no. I even told them that policemen were always on the road and I didn’t want any trouble with them. “When we got to a police checkpoint, I parked and asked Gideon to come down and urinate. He said that we should not have stopped there, because the policemen would come and arrest us. As we took off, he said he wanted to urinate again. I then became suspicious.
“When I noticed that, I told him that when we get to Agric bus stop I would stop for him. I sped off, hoping to get to the next police checkpoint and hand them to policemen.
But Gideon immediately held my neck; I lost control of the car and hit a kerb. The vehicle somersaulted. To my amazement, the two boys were out of the car despite the accident.
As I struggled to get out of the vehicle with the help of some people there, policemen arrived at the scene. People, who gathered, told me that two boys were running and I looked ahead and saw them afar. “I told the people that they should get the boys because they caused the accident as they tried to snatch my car.
I was shouting that those boys were thieves. Policemen chased and caught them. “The policemen called the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Owode Onirin on Ikorodu Road, SP Barnard Ediagbonya, who came that night to the scene and invited the Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) who towed the vehicle to their office. “It was when the police were searching the vehicle they saw the toy pistol.”