A five-man robbery gang, who raided the Jos, Plateau State home of the defensive midfielder for the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Ogenyi Onazi, have told the police that their quest for a classy sallah celebration pushed them into robbery.
The suspects Kingsley David, Ugochukwu Ebuka, Osita Ezeamu, Ali Audu and Joseph Ozo were yesterday paraded by the Lagos state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, following their arrest in Lagos.
They confessed to having raided the Jos home of the Super Eagles Player some days before the just concluded Sallah celebration were arrested yesterday in Lagos in the process of selling the vehicle they stole from the victim during the robbery operation in Jos.
It was gathered that the hoodlums had attacked the footballers aged father, Mr. Wilson Onazi and made away with his valuables including ATM cards, some cash and his white Toyota Highlander jeep with registration number JMU 300 AA.
Owoseni said although the robbery had occurred in Jos, Plateau State, some police detectives led by the Divisional Police Officer, Alim Musa, a Chief Superintendent of Police arrested them at the Ajangbadi area area of Lagos while attempting to sell the Toyota Highlander car to a prospective buyer.
The principal suspect in the crime, one Kingsley Davis, said the victim was their neighbour at Jos, and he initiated the idea and involved his friends who accepted to carry out the operation with the aim of getting money to enjoy the Sallah celebration.
“We are all friends and neighbours all living in Jos. The idea came to me when we were discussing on how to celebrate the Salah and we put it into action.
“We did not beat him but we only threaten him with knife to release his car for us as we want to borrow his car for the Salah.
“We fled Jos with the car and came to Lagos to sell to our contact person but we were stopped by the police somewhere in Ajangbadi and since we were unable to give a good account of the vehicle we were arrested.” Davis explained.
Ugochukwu Ebuka, 26, said although six of them planned the robbery attack, only three of them participated in the operation.
“It took us one week to conclude plans on how to carry out the operation successfully. It was Kingsley who brought the information about the house. On that fateful day, we arrived the house around 10pm.
“Joe knocked on the gate and few minutes later an elderly man emerged from inside the compound. He opened the gate. At first we did not know that he was Onazi’s father.
“Three of us tried to force our way into the compound but the man resisted. He appeared drunk that morning so we over powered him. We wrestled him to the ground. We told him we were not going to harm him and that he should cooperate with us as we only wanted his money. We discovered that the old man live alone in that big house.
“Joe held a cutlass but we did not use it on him. We asked for money but he said he had none. We searched the seating room. Later we went into his bedroom. I think he gave us just N5,000 and his ATM card. We took a bag containing two pairs of canvas on our way out.
“We collected the keys of the Toyota Highlander packed in front of the house and drove away. We threw the ATM card away because it was not functioning. It was Kingsley who organized the operation but he did not participate. Kingsley was angry with the old man because he felt that he was not assisting anybody despite the fact that he has so much money. He lives alone and never bothered about any other person.
“It was Kingsley who also planned our movement to Lagos. He told us that he had contacted someone. When we left the place we hid the car at Feringhana area of Jos to allow the heat to die down. Three hours later we headed towards Lagos.
“We arrived Ajangbadi on Tuesday and we stayed in a hotel. We met Osita Ezeana at a pub at Ajangbadi. We told him we have a car for sale. We had not agreed at a price when the police arrested us.”
Another suspect, one Joseph Ozo, a graduate of University of Jos, said the gang called him because he is an expert in driving.
He said, “I am a graduate but I was invited into this operation by Kingsley. I followed them for the operation but my job was to drive, which I did after I had collected the key.”
The Lagos Police boss, Fatai Owoseni, who paraded the suspects, said the criminals were probably heading to Seme border, Badagry where they intended to sell off the car.
Owoseni, who said the suspects and the exhibits would soon be transferred to Plateau State Command for further investigation and prosecution, added that it was a testimony that policing has no boundaries.
“The Nigeria Police Force under the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, is well more positioned.
“The police is also poised to ensure that no matter where the crime is committed in any part of the country, the police headquarters has given teeth to bite to the commands”, he said.