Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Ikeja, Lagos State, have arrested two robbery suspects over plans to kill a taxi (Uber) driver and snatching his vehicle.
The two suspects confessed to have met in Kirikiri Prison, where they formed a robbery gang.
The suspects, Simon Tyozemda (27) from Benue State and Lucky Friday (24) from Delta State, were arrested on March 14, in possession of two long knives inside an Uber operated cab.
The suspects were inside a Toyota Camry car with registration number APP 145 EE and had planned to kill its driver and take over his car.
The alleged leader of the gang, Tyozemda, through his girlfriend’s Uber app, ordered a taxi about past 11p.m. last week. The suspects’ plan was to lure the driver of the Toyota Camry to a desolate location, kill him and take his vehicle.
The suspects were taking the driver to a lonely place on Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos, when their vehicle was stopped by RRS officers for a stop-and-search.
The officers noticed that one of the suspects, seated at the back of the vehicle, was hiding a long knife.
Investigations revealed that the suspect’s intention was to divert the driver to a lonely place and snatch his Toyota Camry.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Imohimi Edgal, said: “Police investigations revealed that Tyozemda and Friday were former convicts, who were released between December 2017 and January, 2018, from Kirikiri.
Sometimes in February, in a similar manner, they snatched an Uber Toyota Corolla with registration number FST 663 EZ, on Badore Road, Ajah, about 2a.m. after killing its driver. The suspects, after snatching the Toyota Corolla car, sold it to Mohammed Usman for N350,000. Mohammed had only paid N100,000 and was to move the vehicle to Jigawa when RRS operatives arrested him.”
Edgal advised Uber drivers and other private cab operators to avoid taking customers to unknown or lonely destinations.
Tyozemda, an erstwhile security guard turned stylist at Badore, said: “I met my colleague, Lucky Friday, in Kirikiri Prison. We became friends and when I was released I gave him the number of my brother for him to call me. When he was released, I promised him I was going to assist him to resettle properly. Since then, we have been working and operating together.
“Our first operation was where we killed the driver of the Toyota Corolla. He was a cab driver. I stabbed the guy in the stomach twice and I dropped him off on the road in Badore, Ajah about 2a.m. We threw away the knives and bought new ones for a fresh operation, but we were arrested. Before killing him, I placed the order for a cab to pick us up at Lambasa, Lekki about 11p.m. Our destination was Abraham Adesanya Estate. But we needed a desolate location to snatch the vehicle from the driver.
“It was the same business that took me to Kirikiri Prison. I was introduced into it by Michael. Unfortunately for me, I was arrested while Michael escaped. I spent four months behind bar. It is sad I’m being arrested again over the same business.”
Also arrested along with the suspects were the middle man, who introduced the gang to the buyer of the Toyota Corolla, John Thankgod (25), and the buyer of the car, Mohammed Usman (41).
The vehicle was about to be taken to Jigawa State the following day, when RRS team arrested the suspects.
Further investigations revealed that the body of the driver, Godfrey Ovie, was dropped at Badore by the suspects, where it was discovered the following day by the police.
Usman said: “It was one John that used to come to my shop where I sell scrap to sell things to me. One fateful day, he came and told me that a friend of his wanted to sell a car. He told me the owner of the car was travelling to America, which was why the man wanted to sell his car.”