A suspected member of a notorious gang in the Ijesha area of Lagos State, Star Boys, has confessed that rival groups in the area and their counterparts in Itire take advantage of violent clashes between them to rob unsuspecting residents.
The suspect, 19-year-old Opeyemi Ayoola, was arrested alongside four others by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Lagos State Police Command after an attack on an unnamed resident of the area.
The teenager confessed to being a member of Star Boys, but denied ever robbing anybody in any of the clashes that he took part in.
Ayoola also admitted that he was aware that some of his colleagues take advantage of the clashes to rob.
Also arrested by the police were Segun Oladokun, Oluwasegun Ajagun, Friday Aduadu and Jimoh Qudus.
While other suspects except Jimoh and Friday confessed to being members of the notorious group, the duo were said to be security men in an hotel in the area, where the gang reportedly kept one of their guns.
Ayoola said: I am a commercial motorcyclist.
“I was sleeping in my friend’s house when I was arrested by the police for allegedly belonging to a gang that robbed people in the area.
“It is true that I am a member of Star Boys and we use to fight with the Itire Boys.
“They destroyed the windscreen of one of our tricycles and that led to the first clash between us.”
The teenager confirmed that they take advantage of the clashes between to rob people in the area, adding: “I have seen people robbing residents.
“There was never a time that I joined them to rob anybody.
“I only follow them to fight because I derive joy in fighting.
“In fact, there was a time I helped someone in my area, who was about to be attacked by some of our boys.
“They attacked one Alfa and I told them that he was one of our elder brothers in the neighbourhood.
“I helped him to retrieve his stolen phone and other valuables.
“We don’t t use gun to fight.
“We use knives, matchetes, planks, broken bottles and iron.
“I have never seen any of us using guns in any fight.”
Oladokun said: “I am the only authentic member of the Star Boys group.
“Others are just using the name to foment trouble.
“We use the group to help one another in the area like a social club.
“I know some of our junior ones do fight with their counterparts in Itire, but I have never been a part to it.
“I am a cobbler and I also ride tricycle whenever I hve nothing doing in my shop.
“It was Opeyemi that pointed me to the police as one of the leaders of the Star Boys.
“Opeyemi and others are younger to us and there is no way we can belong to the same group.
On the accusation by the police that he was one of the armourers of the gang, he said: “I don’t t have any gun in my possession.
“They are talking about a gun that belong to my friend and they have gone to the hotel, where the gun was kept by my friend, Qudus.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, who confirmed the arrest of the suspects, said police are on the trail of other members of the gang and their counterparts in Itire.
Odumosu warned gangsters and other criminals in other parts of the state that the police would not allow them hide under any name to cause lawlessness.