A final year student of the Onabisi Onabanjo University in Ogun State, Micheal Omoregbe and 11 others have been arrested by men of the Special Anti-robbery squad of the The CP, however said they would be sàà to court after completion of investigation of the matter.
State Police Command.
Omoregbe who is studying account education alongside his gang member had allegedly stolen 16 solar panels and 33 inverter solar batteries installed at different parts of Lagos.
He confessed to have gotten N100,000 from the sales of the stolen items which belonged to the Lagos State Government and one of the major telecommunication giants in Nigeria.
Amongst the gang members who had been on the wanted list of the police command were a dismissed Airforce personnel and three soldiers who have been transfered to the Headquarters of 9th Brigade, Nigerian Army Ikeja for disciplinary actions.
Speaking on how the suspects were arrested, the Commissioner of police, Lagos State Police Command Edgal Imohimi said, the gang was responsible for vandalizing government /private properties in Epe, Sangotedo, Elerangbe and Badagry. They were however arrested in Epe.
The suspects are said to include: Samuel Ani 30, Michael Omoregbe 30, Efosa Philip 27, IfeDayo Odufoye 35(Dismissed air- force), Chibize Nnamani 34, Festus Maduka 26, John Nwokeoma 31 and Chibuzor Chukwu 23.
The Commissioner of Police said, “ on September 5, at about 2am, the seven suspects came with a truck with registration number LND 61 XQ invaded Okemagba Senior Secondary School, Epe with three soldiers and stole seventy-one solar panels. They also forced the door of the container, where the inverter batteries and accessories were kept and went away with it
“ One of the buyers was traced to Delta, Anambra and Imo State where one Festus Maduka was later picked up in an hotel and confessed to have received solar panels and inverters batteries from the armed robbers.”
Omoregbe confessed to have been dragged into the act by his childhood friend Ani.
He said, ” I was not an active member of the gang as I wasn’t always around due to my studies. But I only assists them in getting vehicles to load the stolen items. I also cannot tell how many operations they have gone for.
” It was when we had gone for the operation at Epe that vigilantee group there chased and caught us. We were also handed over to the police.
“At this point, I really do regret keeping bad company. I know my family will be disappointed in me and I may also not be able to go back school.”
Odufoye who is a dismissed Airforce personnel was the driver who often conveyed the stolen item for the gang.
He was said to have still been parading himself as a uniform personnel when he was arrested.
In his confession, he said. ” I was dismissed by my second in command in Maiduguri where we were fighting Boko Haram members. We were asked to arrest someone but refused to arrest the person, that was why I was court martial and dismissed from service.
” After I was dismissed from the air force, I bought a Siena bus from my savings and came to Lagos from Kaduna work when I contracted by Michael that I should help them picked some goods at Badagry.
“ I charge them N150,000, but I was later paid N100,000, I have also help them to take the solar panels from Ajah to army arena at oshodi, where they sell to the buyer. But unfortunately, their was a day I ran away with some of the panels when they refused to pay me. After I have assisted them to bring them down to Arena. I regret my action. It was greed to put me into the trouble I find myself today.”
Ani who is the leader of the gang said, it a friend that introduced him into the business, since I joined that my friend two years ago, I cannot go back to my transport business because of the little money are making it from it.
“ I started my operation from Badagry area, we also target some of the schools where there is security guard. We got the solar panels and the batteries from different part of the state.
“I picked interest because of how my friend Ijeoma told me how they make money from the business, since I have been doing it I never thought of the consequence. We sell the solar panel for N25,000 and the batteries also go for N10,000 each. I have made about N6000,0000 from the business.”
Revealing further, he said. “ I have also removed of the panels from the a telecommunication company, the person that used to buy the solar from me, knew I am into robbery that the goods are not guinea one. They encouraged us by buying it. If they are not buying it from us, we wouldn’t be removing them.”
The criminal receiver, Nwokoma who buys the stolen items said he never knew they were stolen goods.
The suspects who are still helping the police with investigations will be charged after the completion of investigation.