Why I hired armed robbers to rob my uncle -Suspect

This is not the best of time for one Emmanuel Ererie, a robbery suspect who allegedly hired a notorious robbery gang to rob his uncle, Ororogu Peter Ererie. It was a case of paying an uncle who nurtured him to adulthood, with a bad coin.

Emmanuel, who is now a guest of the operatives attached to the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), of the Lagos State Police Command headquarters, Ikeja, allegedly confessed to hiring armed robbers to attack his uncle.

Emmanuel recruited the members of the gang all the way from Delta State to attack his Uncle at his Festac town residence, in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos.

Four other members of the gang being held by SARS detectives include, Joseph Ovonogbaho, Victor Ezenwa, Ibe Innocent, Ukerume James, and Oyoma Akpojiyovwi.

It was learnt that Joseph, Victor and Ibe were brought from Agbarufor in Delta State by Emmanuel to Festac town to rob his uncle, kill him and also, remove one of his exotic cars.

The victim is said to be a prominent business man in Lagos.The incident occurred sometime in July this year.

Police sources said that as the robbery suspects arrived at the premises, Emmanuel whose father is the elder brother to the victim, pressed the wall bell and sighted someone who was coming from the building to open the gate, before he withdrew, while he asked Joseph and Innocent to enter the building.
It was further gathered that Emmanuel gave the impression that his uncle had kept foreign currencies in cartons in his room.When they accosted the victim, they claimed one Baba Tola sent them to him to carry out plumbing repair work in the house.

But the man and his wife who were suspicious of the strange visitors at about 7:00p.m, alerted neighbours who came to their rescue. Following the raising of the alarm, it was said, Emmanuel and Victor took to their heels, while Innocent and Joseph were arrested.

Upon a search conducted on Innocent, four live cartridges were found on him and the two were handed over to the Festac Police Division before they were subsequently transferred SARS.
Their arrest led to the arrest of Innocent Ezenma.

Emanuel who had escaped from the scene allegedly put a call through to other members of the gang to ascertain if they succeeded, but unknown to him, they had been arrested.

“When the phone was put on speaker, his uncle could not believe his ears when he heard the voice of his niece, asking if they had succeeded in robbing him or not. When he now realised they had been arrested, he ran to Delta State where he went into hiding”, said the police source.

Five days after, luck ran out on Emmanuel who was apprehended in his hideout in Delta State.Police sources said that in the course of investigation, four guns belonging to the gang were recovered. .

Two Pump Action Rifles (PARs) said to belong to Victor, Innocent and Joseph were being used to snatch vehicles and which they subsequently, sold in Umuahia, Abia State capital.
Joseph is fingered as the armourer of the gang.
According to police sources, Joseph sold one of the guns to one Black Joe, with real name Joseph Afabor in Okpe local government area of Delta State for N20, 000 through James Ukemure. The gun, according to the suspects, was tested in a fish farm owned by Black Joe who is still at large.
Oyoma who claimed to be a youth leader in the area and head of vigilante group, was alleged to have sold the four cartridges to Joseph which was used for the Lagos operation.
When his house in Ughelli, along Ozoro Road was searched, four long locally made guns, with large quantity of cartridges were recovered. Oyoma claimed the guns belong to the community, who gave him charge of them to keep for the purpose of vigilante as a youth leader.

He also claimed that the four cartridges were given to one of the vigilante members in the community who came and requested for it under the guise that they were going for a patrol of the community.
In an encounter with the robbery suspects who spoke one after another, Emmanuel Ererie: 24 years old, who hails from Agbaraota in Delta State, claimed to be an automobile mechanic apprentice in Lagos,
“I live in Ajangbadi white house in Lagos in an apartment belonging to my uncle, Godwin Ererie by name. He supplies water to the people in that community, I came to Lagos over a year ago through my uncle who is my father’s younger brother. He brought me to Lagos to learn a trade in automobile mechanic.
“I was arrested because my brother drove me out his house when I had an accident with his car which I took out without his permission. So, I was locked up by the owner of the other car that I hit during an accident. I was in detention for six months and my case was usually adjourned. I was often taken out of prison to court until the day that my uncle came for my bail. After this incident, he sent me packing and asked me to return to Delta State and subsequently, warned me never to return to his house again. As a result and in a bid to pay him back, I had to conspire with three of my friends to go to his house and make away with his money, though they didn’t come with any guns, but they came with four bullets because a friend of mine whom I told about the deal told me he had a gun, but we couldn’t meet with him at home, before we left for the operation in Lagos.
“After I had been assured by one of the three guys who is massive in frame that he would use his physical strength, so we had to rely on him without the guns. But when we got to my brothers apartment, I pressed the bell at the entrance gate and I noticed it was my uncle that was coming to open the gate so I ran to hide from seeing me. When he saw the guys he asked what their mission was, but when they could not explain well, he raised an alarm, and the area boys emerged within a twinkle of an eye and arrested them. When they tried to ask them several questions, but they refused to speak, one of my guys slapped one of them, and physical combat ensued. They were all apprehended, searched and four cartridges were found on them. They were subsequently taken to the police station. My uncle did not offend me and his wife also, did not offend me”, he narrated.

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