A 23-year-old robbery suspect, Promise Uzoma, has revealed how he took to robbery like a duck to water and raped a housemaid after his N70,000 phone was stolen.
Uzoma said he was sleeping in a bus when his phone was stolen. Filled with impotent rage, he felt that the best thing for him to do was to take to crime in order to raise money and replace his phone.
In his first operation, which he went with his cousin, Chukwuebuka Ogubuike, they attacked a home and raped the housemaid.
Recalling the operation, Uzoma said: “When we got to man’s compound, we met the doors open. We entered and met the man, his wife and their maid. We pointed our gun at him and asked for money, his phones and gold jewelry. He gave us N250,000 in cash and brought out all his gold jewelry. He cooperated because we threatened to kill him. I don’t know what came over me, but I raped his housemaid. I also wanted to rape his wife, but I left her because she was a nursing mother. After the operation, I got a Samsung phone and the sum of N100,000. I didn’t bother about the gold. It was after I had been arrested that I learned the jewelry was worth N4.4 million.”
Uzoma and Ogubuike were arrested by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.
The suspects were hunted down by IRT operatives after the gang’s victim, Nwokebuike Augustine, petitioned the IGP, Mohammed Adamu. The robbery attack was the second time the gang would be robbing the victim’s home.
Police said that the suspects were a notorious robbery gang, which specialised in robbing unsuspecting residents of Aba town in Abia State.
The suspects ran into trouble after they and members of their gang attacked Augustine, an Aba-based businessman, in his house at Umugbsi area of Aba Town, Abia State. The victim was dispossessed of his valuables, including mobile phones and gold jewelry worth close to N4.4 million.
A police source disclosed: “The same gang robbed Augustine’s home sometimes in 2018. In this latest attack, one of the suspects, Promise, raped Augustine’s maid. The robbers stole gold jewelry valued at N4.4 million, a cash sum of N250,000, Nokia and Samsung phones valued at N200,000, an expensive perfume and sneakers valued at N100, 000 in Augustine’s house. Following Augustine’s petition, the IG instructed Kyari and his men to head to Aba Town. Two members of the gang were arrested after weeks of investigation.”
Uzoma, a trader, further added: “I sell clothes and foot wears at Ojota Market in Lagos State. I used to buy clothes at Ariaria Market, in Aba. But a few months ago, my phone was stolen, while I was sleeping on one of my trips.”
Uzoma, who wanted the person that stole his phone to return it, decided to visit a native doctor. The native doctor promised to prepare a charm for him, which would make the thief to return his phone.
He said: “I bought the phone for N70,000. The native doctor asked me to pay N30,000 for the charm. I gave him the money, but seven days after I made the payment, the person didn’t return my phone. I went back to the native doctor and informed him that his charm didn’t work. He asked me to pay an additional N7,000 so he could consult his oracle to know why his charms didn’t work. I refused and insisted that he should refund my money. He told me that he has given my money to his gods. I told him that he should refund my money. He then inserted my money into a box, sprayed some powdery substance on it and then handed it to me. I took the money from him and went to a sports betting shop, where I gambled away all the money.”
After he had gambled everything away, Uzoma became dejected and morose. He said that he was in this dejected state when a friend, Udo, came to tell him about a robbery operation.
“Udo said that he wanted me to take part in the robbery operation so that I would be able to raise money and buy a new phone. He also said that I could make enough money to boost my business. He asked me to invite someone to join in the operation. I invited my cousin, Chukwuebuka,” narrated Uzoma.
On the day of the operation, most of the members went with machetes, while Udo and another gang member called Kaita, came with locally made guns. The gang first attacked a three story building in Osisioama area of Aba.
While Udo and others went into the building, Uzoma and Chukwuebuka waited outside. Udo and others came out with several phones. Udo then told Uzoma that there was another building they needed to rob before they call it a night. Udo told him that the gang had robbed that particular building the previous year, stressing that the occupants had tons of money and gold jewelry.
Uzoma said: “Udo told me that on the day they robbed that house, they collected two phones and jewelry. He said that he wanted my brother and I to enter the man’s house alone. Udo said that he and other members wouldn’t enter because the owner of the house would recognize them. Udo said that the guy knew him very well.”
Chukwuebka, who had been to prison twice, said he was planning to turn a new leaf when his cousin came with an offer that was hard to resist. Uzoma invited him for a robbery operation.
Chukwuebuka said: “I have been to prison twice. The first was at St. Michael area of Aba, where I bought two stolen laptops from a thief called Emma in 2017. I was arrested and taken to prison, where I spent three months. After I returned from prison, one of my friends gave me links to work as a security man for a lawyer. When the lawyer refused to pay my salary, I stole his wife’s bag and phone. I was arrested, arraigned and remanded in prison for a month. When I returned from prison, I vowed to turn a new leaf. But my brother got me involved in this operation. The men, who brought the job, told me that the man we robbed his house had plenty of gold jewelry and too much money. He said that the man used to flaunt his money and gold around town. After the operation, I got only N100,000 as my share. This was even after the gold was sold. I didn’t get any reasonable money. It was when I was arrested that I learned that the gold was worth, N4.4 million.”