Saturday, 31 May 2014

My boss sacked me for befriending his girlfriend

By The Nation newspaper

This blog was cross-posted from
This picture is for emphasis
The suspected member of a five-man robbery gang, Ojo Iyare (26) has explained why he organised a robbery operation against the man he was supposed to be guarding in Dolphin Estate, Lagos. The Ovia, Edo State indigene, who thereafter adopted armed robbery as his full preoccupation before he was arrested by operatives of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State Police Command, said he was angry that while he was posted by his security outfit to guard the house, his boss was also using him for other domestic chores without any compensation. He said he was not allowed to enter any of the rooms in the house and could only enter the parlour if his boss wanted to send him on an errand. Upon all this, he said, his erstwhile boss still had the guts to tell his company to withdraw him from the house and, if possible, sack him completely. He said upon learning about the plan to sack him, he hurriedly sent in his resignation letter and decided to go into full-time armed robbery. The other suspected members of the gang, who were cooling their heels in the cell of SARS at GRA, Ikeja, Lagos include Richard Okon (29), Obiorah Frank (27), one Sunday and one Chukwuma Nkem, who was said to be helping the gang to ferry snatched vehicles across the Nigerian borders into neighbouring countries. With the aid of two locally made double barrel guns, the suspects also allegedly stole from the victim’s room some dollars amounting to about N12 million. They were also alleged to have stolen other items like laptop computers, phones and wrist watches. Recalling how they carried out the robbery operation, Ojo, the suspected leader of the gang, said: “We were a five-man gang. But those who carried out the operation that day were Richard, Obiorah and myself. It was in the previous three robbery operations and two car-snatching operations that Sunday and Chukwuma participated fully. “In the operation that caused our arrest, Chukwuma acted as the provider of buyers. Hence, his role was to market snatched cars and other stolen properties of victims, while Sunday’s role was to monitor the movements of the police after the gang had gone on an operation and policemen were looking for them. At times, he said, they acted as hawkers, selling bags, recharge cards, clothes, shoes and jewellery. Ojo added: “First, I will like you to know that I am a secondary school certificate holder. I made all my papers with credits and above, yet I could not further my education because of my dad’s inability to encourage me. To worsen matters, when I told him that I wanted to join the police, he frustrated all my efforts in that regard. “He had three wives. He has up to 15 children and gives the first wife the greatest attention. To assure him that I really wanted to join the police, I went to meet him while he was serving as a police inspector in Okene, Kogi State. “After telling him that my reason for coming was to seek his help to join the police, he told me that he needed N300,000 to lobby people for my recruitment, but he did not have the money. “When I got to Lagos and told my mother about it, she said I should give him some time to gather the money. When I went back to Kogi State the second time, I discovered that he was not taking my discussion with him seriously hence I went back to Lagos to look for work. “First, I approached a security company and they trained me and posted me to the victim’s house at Park View Estate, Apapa, on a monthly salary of N18,000. When the man (the victim) started dating the house cleaner, a young girl of about 19 years, he saw me as a rival because he always saw me discussing with the cleaner. At times, I also helped her in cleaning and other domestic duties over which the man commended me and even gave me more domestic chores without any allowance. “But what annoyed the man most was that the cleaner liked me more than him, hence he sacked me. I went back to my company and asked for redeployment. Unfortunately, they posted me to a far place and I could not afford the transport fare. “Frustrated, I stayed at home and stopped going to work. It was during the period I was idle that I met Richard through his girlfriend. They live on the same street with me. “When I told Richard that life had not been fair to me, he told me not to worry, saying that I should count myself lucky that I told him about my problem. He said he would show me the way to liberation from poverty and that I would swim in wealth within a few days. “He gave me N2,000 to buy drinks, cigarette and pepper soup. I was very happy and thanked him for the gesture. Later, I went to him and told him that my condition had worsened because I impregnated a girl and I had no money to take care of her antenatal and feeding. I told him that he should find a solution to my suffering. “I also told him about the rich man I was guarding on Park View Estate, who sacked me. I suggested that we should find a way to rob him. I did not know that Richard had just come out of prison and wanted to rest for sometime before engaging in another robbery operation. Based on that, he did not accept my proposal to rob my former boss. “But Obiorah, a friend to Richard, was present when we were discussing my plight. He became interested because I was the one who got him a job at a security outfit on a monthly salary of N18, 000. That was why he was always interested in whatever I did. “Sometime in January, Richard accepted and we decided to carry out the operation. I had the details of the house and the man because I had worked there before I was sacked. To avoid being recognised by the security man on duty, we went there as supervisors from the security company where I was posted to the house. Upon getting there, I stayed outside and allowed Richard and Obiorah to knock and go inside. “When Richard knocked at the gate, the security man came out and he told him that we were supervisors from the security, and he opened the gate for us. But before the security man could look at their faces very well, Richard had brought out a gun and pointed it at the security man. He ordered Obiorah to tie him and cover his mouth with cellotape. “When the security man had been properly tied, they bundled him into the security post, while I took over his job. When the owner of the house returned and hooted, I went and opened the gate for him. He drove in and stayed in his car for some minutes to answer a phone call. As he started walking into the house, Richard rushed towards him and pointed a gun at him. Obiorah and I tied the man and covered his eyes and mouth with cellotape. “We slapped him several times and warned him not to do anything funny if he did not want us to shoot him to death. We then took him inside his house and ordered him to show us where he kept his money, wrist watches, phones, laptop and other items. Obiorah later called our attention, saying that he had seen some dollars in his wardrobe. “Obiorah handed the money over to Richard, who later gave me one million naira. I did not know the amount Obiorah collected. From the money, I bought wheat and garri grinding machines.” Asked how he was arrested, he said: “I was at Bariga Market grinding wheat for one of my customers when I saw SARS operatives led by Superintendent of Police (SP) Abba Kyari. They told me to follow them to Scorpion House (Police Headquarters, GRA, Ikeja Lagos). I was handcuffed and whisked away.” The second suspect, Richard, said: “I am from Ogun State. I finished primary school. My father was an Army Captain before he died in 2008 and he had six wives from different parts of Nigeria. My mother is the first wife. “I used to earn N10,000 as monthly salary. I have robbed more than three times. It was one CY that lured me into armed robbery. In one of the cases, we were charged to court for armed robbery and remanded at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison. I paid my lawyer N50,000 to perfect my bail and regained my freedom. “I started selling gas and second-hand clothes at Oshodi with Okwui, who later ran away from me when he found that I was an armed robber. I returned to robbery because my shop was burnt down a few days before I was released from prison custody as an awaiting trial.” The third suspect, Obiorah, a native of Nnewi, Anambra State, said: “I had wanted to go to the university after graduating from secondary school, but my father had a fatal accident that nearly paralysed him. He is still walking with crutches. “I was born in Okene, Kogi State. It was there that I started riding commercial motorcycle (okada) and had an accident that affected my eye in 2012. It was my friend, Ifesinachi, that brought me to Lagos. “Life was hard for me, and in an attempt to find what to do to survive in Lagos, I met Uzo Ojo Iyari who introduced me to armed robbery. I was doing cleaning work after resigning from a security company. “I was the one who tied the security man and the owner of the house. I collected N1.2 million. Uzor colleted the only laptop we got from the man. I also collected an ipad. I participated in four armed robbery operations. But we did not kill anybody. “The second operation was at Surulere. We snatched a Toyota Camry car and sold it. I collected N35,000. The third operation was at Isolo where we snatched a car and sold it, but I was not given a dime. “The fourth operation took place along Ikorodu Road. I used my loot to buy a Toyota Camry for N450,000. I rented a self-contained room at Oworonsoki with N100,000, but the person I gave the money ran away.”



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