Determined to teach his uncle a lesson he would never forget in a hurry, a man brought robbers all the way from Delta State to Lagos to rob his brother.
The suspect, Emmanuel Ererie, 24, said he was angry with his uncle, Godwin Ererie, a car dealer and had vowed to deal with him. Thus he planned with others to rob Godwin’s home at Ajagbadi area of the metropolis.
Emmanuel had hired three men, including himself to rob Godwin. The robbery was painstakingly planned, but the operation ended up botched.
Rather than carry out the robbery operation, the suspects reached the victim’s home and embarked on a wrestling match.
The manner of the argument that led to their fight raised the suspicion of Godwin, who alerted people in the neighbourhood. When the suspects were searched, a gun was recovered.
The police later recovered five more guns, which brought the guns to six.
Emmanuel and his gang members are now in the custody of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja, Lagos State Police Command, fielding questions.
A police source said that the gang had been carrying out various operations before it was smashed.
The source added: “This same Emmanuel is the person who used to bring information and targets of place and people the gang would attack. They however admitted to only three robbery operations.”
Aside from Emmanuel, other members in police net are Joseph Ovonogbarho, 22, Victor Ezenwa, 23, Innocent Ibe, 21, Ukerume James, 32 and Oyoma Akpojiuovwi, 34.
Emmanuel, Ezenwa, Ibe and Akpojiuovwi are those who came for the operation. But James and Joseph are accomplices.
Recalling his journey into police net, Emmanuel said that he was living with his uncle in Lagos until he took the man’s car without his permission and bashed it against another guy’s car.
The man whose car was bashed reported the incident to the police. Emmanuel was arrested and even imprisoned.
Although Godwin was angry with his nephew, he had eventually facilitated his bail.
Immediately he secured Emmanuel’s bail, Godwin bundled him back to their village, in Delta State.
Emmanuel, a mechanic apprentice, snapped: “I was arrested and imprisoned for six months, just because I used my uncle’s car to ram into a man’s car. I was locked up by the owner of the other car. I was charged to court and imprisoned until my uncle came to bail me.”
Emmanuel said he thought Godwin had forgiven him, thus he was shocked when the man dragged him back to the village and abandoned him there.
“He warned me never to return to his house again,” recalled Emmanuel. “I decided to conspire with three of my friends and rob his house!”
Emmanuel said he was stunned to discover a gun with Ibe, one of those who came with his to rob, after people intervened in the fight that broke out in front of his uncle’s home.
“We decided to go with three bullets because my friend, Ovonogbarho, told me that he would get a gun, which we could use. When it was time to go for the operation, we couldn’t locate my friend, so we had to go without the gun.”
Emmanuel was however assured by one of the hired suspects that the fact that they all looked huge and muscular was all they needed to scare Godwin and dispossess of his money.
Vividly recollecting the fateful day of the operation, Emmanuel said: “When we reached my uncle’s home, I pressed the bell at the gate. When I saw my uncle coming, I hid. When he saw the guys, he asked who they wanted to see. They replied that they were directed to the house to do some plumbing work. My uncle told them that they had the wrong address.”
Three of them agreed it was a failed operation, but Ibe wanted the gang to make another try at robbing Godwin.
Soon they were arguing among themselves. Within a blink of an eye, the argument snowballed into a fight.
“The noise created attracted people, including my uncle. Some of us ran away. But they got Ibe. A gun was found in the custody of Ibe. I had no intention to hurt my uncle. All I wanted was just some money!”
Ezenwa, a painter said he joined the gang because the end just refuses to meet.
He added: “I was arrested by SARS because we went to rob his uncle. A gun was found on Ibe. Some of us ran away. We were later arrested through Ibe.”
Ovonogbarho, a plumber said: “We came to Lagos to rob, but we didn’t succeed. I joined robbery because of temptation and frustration. Since I finished learning plumbing job, things had not been working out well for me and I couldn’t bear it anymore.”
Another suspect is Akpojiuovwi. He was arrested because his friend, Ovonogbarho fingered him as the person who gave him a gun.
Akpojiuovwi denied being part of the suspects that attempted to rob Godwin.
According to him, he and Ovonogbarho belonged to a local vigilante group at Delta State. The group used to leave Delta State for security work.
Akpojiuovwi said: “I didn’t give Ovonogbarho guns, only bullets. He is a security officer in the community. Members of the community provided the guns and bullets for the vigilante group. When the police came to my house, they found four guns and 12 cartridges, which I use for security purposes. I keep the guns because I’m the youth leader in the community.”
When Ovonogbarho reached Lagos, he has bullets, but no gun. He needed a gun and called James, his cousin.
James, who denied being a robber, blamed Ovonogbarho for dragging him into police problem.
He said: “Ovonogbarho called me to know where he could buy a gun. I told him that I know one or two persons who would want to sell a gun. After police arrested me, I took them to Ovonogbarho home at Delta State, but he wasn’t at home.”
The police however finally tracked and arrested Ovonogbarho.
James continues: “I don’t know any of the suspects. I know Ovonogbarho. He’s my cousin. I didn’t know that they came to Lagos. I didn’t know what they had done. I only know I was arrested because of the gun issue.”
Innocent is a friend to Ovonogbarho. They met at Warri and became friends.
“I met Ovonogbarho when I was hawking electronics in Delta State for top world ventures Nigeria LTD. I resigned from the company because I wasn’t promoted. I later called Ovonogbarho to tell him that I was out of job. He asked me to come to Delta. He said I should be assisting him with his plumbing work. We were managing that work until Emmanuel introduced the business of robbing his uncle to us. Emmanuel promised to pay us any amount if we agree to the deal. He paid us N150, 000 each for the two deal.”