Robbers who raided Onazi’s home arrested

Chidi Samuel

The  four man gang who allegedly brutalised and  robbed Mr. Wilson Onazi, the father of Nigerian footballer, Ogenyi Onazi has been arrested by men of the Lagos state police command. The suspects, Kingsley David, Ebuka Ugochukwu, Joseph Ozo and Ali Audu were arrested at Shibiri Hotel in the Ajangbadi area of Lagos following a tip-off  at about 7pm on Wednesday while they were negotiating to dispose off the stolen vehicle from Pa Onazi.

According to the police, “We got a tip-off that some suspicious people had lodged in a hotel in the area. They had been bringing several people to inspect the vehicle at the hotel, but they did not get a buyer.”

The leader of the gang, David, 24, a polytechnic graduate, said he is a neighbour to the victim and had monitored his movement for sometime, adding that they robbed him to celebrate Sallah.

He said, “We are all friends. We planned the robbery a week to the actual day. I live close to the man’s house and I sold the idea to my friends. Our intention was just to take his car for the Sallah break. I didn’t follow them into the house. I only pointed the place to them and they finished the job. It was after they were done that I joined them in the vehicle.”

Another member of the gang, Ugochukwu, 26, an indigene of Idemili, Anambra State, said the robbery was easy for them because the victim lives alone.

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According to him, “We discovered that the man is old and he lives alone in that big house. He does not stay with his wife or even house help. There was no security man guarding the house or any other form of security. We also robbed him because he does not help people.

“When we got to the house, we knocked the gate and pretended as if we wanted to deliver a letter to him from Lagos. While he was checking the letter, we brought out our cutlass. We just held him by the hand as he begged us not to harm him.

“We asked him to take us to his bedroom and he did. He said he didn’t have any money in the house, but we took his ATM card, which we couldn’t use because it had expired.

“He gave us N5,000. We also stole his vehicle. We didn’t touch him because of his advanced age; if we had touched him, he could have died.”

Another suspect, 24-year-old Ozo, a self acclaimed graduate of a university in Plateau State, said the gang carried out the robbery because they needed money to celebrate Sallah.  He drove the vehicle to Lagos.

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He said, “Kingsley (David) brought the idea. He said he knew Pa Onazi’s house, adding that we could rob him, take his vehicle and sell it in Lagos. They invited me because I can drive very well. I was promised a share of the money.

“We were not afraid because the car papers were complete. It was due to indecision between Kingsley (David) and Ebuka (Okechukwu) that delayed the sale.”

The last suspect, Audu, said his only role was to use the letter to distract the victim.

Mr Osita Eze, the man who was in line to purchase the stolen vehicle said he was introduced to the gang at a bar, insisting that he did not negotiate with the suspects.

“After the meeting at the bar, I collected their contact and I went to meet them at the hotel where I met policemen,” he added.

The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Fatai Owoseni, while parading the suspects in Lagos Thursday, said that the suspects will be handed over to the Plateau state Police Command for prosecution.