The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command has arrested three suspected robbers who allegedly lured an UBER driver into the bush, strangled him to a coma, and made away with his Toyota Camry, 2006 model.
The police also recovered locally-made guns and seven live cartridges from another robbery gang on Eko Bridge.
The suspected UBER car hijackers were arrested early on Thursday morning in Lekki, when the suspects were on their way to hand over the snatched car to a buyer.
Some RRS operatives had in few hours to the arrest, prevented six robbers from accessing the Lagos Island after they chased a convoy of three motorcycle riders and recovered two loaded and cocked guns from the suspects.
The police source said the suspected UBER robbers were Alagor, 28, Effiong, 25, and three other suspects, still at large, had on on Wednesday night, requested for UBER through Alagor’s phone line.
“Supported by another member, Blessing who is still at large, Alagor told the UBER driver, Ekwomi Charles, to take them to Abijo GRA, from Jakande Estate, Lekki at around 11:00 p.m.
“Almost mid-way into the trip, Blessing, according to Alagor, the mastermind of the car snatching plan, told the driver they were going to a birthday party in Shoprite, Sangotedo, and that they were going to pick two of their colleagues up in Abijo GRA, Ajah.
However, the UBER driver in his statement to the police stated: “I agreed to pick their friends and drop them at the venue of the party as we were already in Abijo GRA. I noticed that their friends were not at the bus stop.
“They called their friends and we agreed that I should drive into the estate to meet them on their way. I drove about 100 meters but didn’t see them. I insisted I was going no further.
“They eventually came and immediately they entered the car, they tired a rope around my neck from the back. Then, all of them started punching me until I passed out. Thinking that I was dead, they took me into the bush and dropped my body near an uncompleted building. They left beside me a knife after tying me with rope. I thank God that I later woke up. I was too tired but managed to crawl out of the bush till I saw an RRS patrol vehicle and I reported the mater. I learnt RRS men have arrested the suspects.”
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Another senior police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said the suspects, after presumably killing the UBER driver left one of them in Abijo GRA while three of them, Alagor, Blessing and another suspect, whose identity the police are working on, drove the car to Shoprite, Sangotedo to pick Samuel Effiong, who already negotiated with a buyer based in Fashola Estate, Lekki.
One of the suspects, Effiong, in his confessional statement said: “Blessing some time ago told me that he wanted to sell a car. He called me on phone around midnight of Wednesday to take him to the person that wanted to buy the car. They picked me up in Shoprite, Sangotedo. I didn’t follow him to where they stole the vehicle.
“We were close to Fashola Estate, when we ran into RRS patrol vehicle. They stopped us for a check. Blessing and his friend bolted while Alagor and I were arrested. They also arrested Okoye (aka Tallest), who wanted to link us to the buyer.”
Police investigations on where the UBER driver was dumped by the suspects led to the discovery of further evidence like a kitchen knife, ropes and fez cap, reportedly belonging to Blessing.
In another development, police sources said the six suspected robbers were on motorcycles riding against the traffic on Eko Bridge when they sighted RRS patrol vehicle approaching and they were trying to make a detour; a parcel containing the loaded and cocked guns fell from the hoodlums. He said the robbers, however, escaped and the operatives recovered the guns.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Muazu Zubairu, directed that the suspects to be transferred the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department ( SCIID) for further investigation .