As wife of a mobile policeman, Mrs. Victoria Amodu knows that robbery is a crime yet, when she abandoned her matrimonial home, including her four kids in Oshogbo, Osun State, and ran to Lagos; it was robbery and prostitution she embraced.
Crying profusely, Amodu said her life had never turned out the way she wanted it. According to her, circumstances used to push her into embarrassingly situation.
Amodu said she used to ‘hustle’ at a brothel at Seme/Badagry. According to her, ‘hustling’ was to prostitute herself, charging between N500 and N1000 from clients.
Today, Amodu is a guest at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja, Lagos State Command. She was arrested for robbery.
The police said Amodu belonged to a gang of robbers notorious for picking unsuspecting passengers in commercial buses and robbing them at gunpoint.
Narrating how she became a robber, Amodu insisted she was tricked into the illegal job by one of her male clients.
The client, Okanlawon, allegedly invited her to a night club one day after he discovered Amodu was deeply unhappy.
Apparently Amodu and other prostitutes were into a monetary contribution and when it was her turn to collect, the lady chosen to keep the money, disappeared. The money was over N100,000. To cheer her up, Okanlawon invited her to the night club.
She said: “Okanlawon has been unusually nice to me. He used to call me most times. We went to the night club together. I didn’t go back to the brothel that day. We lodged in a hotel. I was surprised when he woke me very early in the morning. He took me to his bus. There were two other men inside the bus. They started picking passengers along the road. I didn’t know they were robbers.”
A police source revealed that on the fateful the gang attempted to initiate Amodu, some members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), who had been seeing the bus and knew it was being used for robbery, gave chased and tried to catch them. The gang eluded them.
Amodu recalled: “I didn’t know what was happening. The men quickly dropped the passengers. Okanlawon then told me that they were robbers. He said if I reveal his secret, he would kill me. I told him I wasn’t interested in the job, he said he would find me anywhere I go. I was terrified. He told me that I wasn’t the only lady the gang uses for robbery operation. He said that some of the ladies they use for operations have become rich.”
As a female member in the gang, part of Amodu’s job was to dress nice and sit in the front beside the driver. The sight of woman passenger used to disarm suspicious commuters.
The gang routes are Iyana Oba, Agbara and Oko Afo; all along Seme/Badagry road.
Amodu said the gang’s modus operandi was to use one bus to pick passengers, while another two buses, which are part of the gang, will follow behind.
She said: “Our driver would receive a signal from other vehicles at our back, where other gang members were, and we would stop at a lonely area and rob our victims. From each of the operations, they gave me between N10, 000 and N15, 000. The highest they’ve given me was N20, 000.”
The police said that Amodu was arrested after some people who already knew the sight of one of the buses the gang uses for operation, sighted it and pounced on the driver.
The driver later identified as Ahmed Isiaka, was with a woman. They were taken to Ojo Police Station, where many victims trooped to identify the man and woman.
One of the victims was a woman Inspector.
The later was transferred to SARS. The case was handed to a team, headed by an Assistant Inspector Police, Mr. Aminu, who worked in consonant with the officer in charge of SARS, Mr. Abba Kyarri.
SARS started investigation. Detectives discovered that the woman arrested with Isiaka was his wife. The woman denied knowing her husband was a robber. Investigators found out she was innocent and released her.
Isiaka however admitted that a woman used to work with them. Detectives travelled to Seme thrice before they finally saw and arrested Amodu.
The police said: “The gang once picked and robbed a woman inspector of police. They dispossessed her of all her belongings and stripped her naked. Even when she begged them to allow her to keep her bra and pant, the gang refused. They left her stark naked in the bush. The woman ran to the highway, naked, waving hands for motorists to help her. Nobody stopped until someone who knew her sighted her. The police woman identified Victoria.”
Amodu said she left her kids and husband because the beating she was receiving from her husband was too much.
The woman, who said her first kid is 10 and the last, two, added that she ran away from her matrimonial home earlier this year.
Wiping tears from her eyes, Amodu said: “Since my arrest, I’ve learnt something. One should be patient in life. In life, every problem has it expiration time. I blame myself because I was not patient. All I wanted was to become somebody. I would be lying if I said my husband was not taking care of me.
“But the beating was too much. Although I dropped out in primary, I wanted to get a job and assist my younger siblings. I’m the oldest of our parents. My husband however wouldn’t allow me to work. He wants me to be a full time housewife. The constant argument that I want to work increased the beating at home.”
According to Amodu, one day, she decided to leave home after her husband almost pummeled her to death.
“I decided to come to Lagos to hustle on my own,” she recollected. “When I embarked on the journey to Lagos, I had nowhere in mind to go or stay. I was in the bus, crying. A lady asked why I was crying. I explained my situation. She asked if I wouldn’t mind coming to stay with her at a brothel in Seme to do prostitution. I said I wouldn’t mind. That was how I went into prostitution.”
She said she knew she had bitten more than she could chew after she started going on robbery operations with the gang. She prayed for God’s intervention.
She explained: “Last month, before all these problems of police started, my husband called me. He apologised and begged me to come home. I had already made up my mind to go back. I used to call and speak with my kids. I was missing. When my husband called, I also asked him to forgive me. I told him that I had offended him.
“I attend Foursquare Church. I went to my pastor and told him that I was a prostitute and forced into robbery. I confessed my sins because I wanted a fresh start in life. I would have left Lagos since, but the transport fare was not complete. Pastor said I should leave the brothel immediately. My husband promised to send me money once he collected his salary. But I was arrested. If I had stayed with my husband, perhaps God would have touched him to stop beating me. Instead I ran away and found myself in this problem.”
According to Amodu, she was just a young girl when her mother abandoned her and her kid brother to their father and disappeared.
Her father one day sent them out of the home after he married a new wife, who started having kids. A woman living in the area, fondly called Iya-Osholana, a civil servant, took Amodu and her brother into her home. The woman later died in 2002.
While struggling to take care of herself and brother, Amodu met a policeman and married him. She thought her life was perfect until she discovered her husband was hot tempered.