‘They must face the music’
THE family of slain teenage fish seller, Sarah Ibikunle who met her tragic death in the hands of the terrorist-like armed robbers, on Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Lekki, Lagos, are happy now that some of the perpetrators of the evil have been arrested.
Speaking with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Sunday, May 17, 2015, the family’s spokesperson, Mr. Samuel Oluwatobi Ibikunle thanked the Lagos State Police Command for its efforts so far in ensuring the case is not swept under the carpet. He, however, urged the command not to relax until all the hoodlums who threw the family into unnecessary mourning are apprehended and prosecuted.
“Yes, we’re all happy when we heard that some of the armed robbers had been arrested. We urge the police to continue the good work by ensuring that all the members of the robbery gang are arrested and prosecuted accordingly. They should be made to face the music because they have inflicted an everlasting wound on the family. Since that time, our aunty is yet to come to terms with Sarah’s tragic death.
“A woman lawyer has even volunteered to fight on behalf of the family. The woman insisted that the government must compensate us for the irreparable loss. Even Lagos State Police Commissioner has called me on the issue. He said he wants to see me in person. Although, the damage had been done, we still want justice to be done on the case. It’s not something that can be swept under the carpet. Imagine, I heard that one of them confessed that the spirit of the girl has been haunting them since.
“You can see now, they killed four people because of N15m that has been squandered. One of them even said he was only paid N50,000. They should just be made to face the music.”
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, fresh facts about the incident emerged when the suspects were paraded by the Lagos State Police Command in Ikeja. They were discovered to be pipeline vandals who constantly terrorized the Arepo area of Ogun State.
The gang had on Thursday, March 12, 2015, stormed the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) on Admiralty Way, Lekki, Lagos in a speedboat. They carted away N15m and killed the kid fish seller and three policemen in the process. However, as it’s rightly said, many days are for the thieves but a day is for the owner. That’s just the parable of the situation the dreaded robbers found themselves as the command on Monday, May 11, 2015, announced the arrest of Ekelomo Kuete and four others in connection with the crime.
During the interrogation with the police, they all confessed their levels of involvement in the dastardly act which left the residents of the area in palpable fear for days.
According to the alleged gang leader, Duke Odogbo of Warri extraction, Delta State, they killed the policemen because they were prepared to set aside anything that will hinder the operation which lasted almost an hour. He confessed that they made away with over N15m.
“I was invited to join the operation by one of my friends, Vika. I was in Warri, Delta State when the operation was planned by our leaders in Arepo, Ogun State. I got about N500,000 as my share in the N15m we stole in the operation.
“We left for the operation from the Island close to Abule Oba area of Ikorodu. Initially, I thought it was for us to go out to vandalise NNPC pipelines but I got to know it was robbery when I arrived Arepo. We left there in two boats for Lekki, Lagos on Wednesday, March 11, but one of the boats developed fault along the way.
“We slept in a creek at Lekki because it was too late. So, the next day, we proceeded to the bank. Five of us entered the bank, five stayed outside while the other five remained in the boat.
“I blew open the door to the banking hall. We asked the staff of the bank to call their manager. We came out with a sum of N15m. We left the place the same way we came.”
Another suspect, Ekelomo Kuete, the driver of the speedboat used for the robbery, also confessed to the crime. He said he was paid only N50,000 for the operation. “I am the speedboat driver that took the armed robbery gang to Lekki, Lagos on Thursday, March 12, 2015. I didn’t know, they forced me and after the operation, they gave me N50,000. I have not gone for any robbery operation before. I am only into oil bunkering in Arepo, Ogun State.”
Other members of the group are Lawrence Kingsley (31), Ebi Tosan (20) and Osuwa Okoloko who are currently in the custody of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the command headquarters, Ikeja, Lagos, while the search continues for the rest of the hoodlums.
Reacting to the development, Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Kenneth Nwosu assured the public that the command won’t rest on its oars until the robbers are all apprehended.
“Yes, the command has arrested and paraded five of the robbers that terrorized Lekki area on Thursday, March 12, 2015, killing a young fish seller and three of our men. We have arrested five of them and their names and pictures are all over the place. We’re still searching for the rest and won’t rest until the last of the hoodlums is arrested.”
– TADE ASIFAT