A three-man robbery gang has been arrested by operatives of the Lagos State Police Anti-Cultism Unit headed by the Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP Uduak Udom for allegedly robbing a businessman at the Lekki phase 1 area of Lagos State.
Saturday INDEPENDENT gathered that the robbery was not premeditated but they were attracted by the nature of the environment the victim resides.
The building which could be described as a mini forest is surrounded by state of the art buildings, quiet with no sign of human existence.
Three young men became quite apprehensive to know the secret of the building inside the ‘forest’.
The adventure has landed them into trouble and they are now telling the police the story of the strange land located at Lekki phase one.
The leader of the gang, a gardener, Patrick John, 47 year- old from Cross River State narrates the story.
“I am a gardener. I do go to pick golden palm seedlings and other flowers which I plant for sale. The compound is covered with trees, flowers and very bushy. There is no sign that somebody lives there as the gate to the building is permanently locked.
“I became curious that there must be some activities going on in the compound unnoticed and in a second thought I felt it could be a den of kidnappers and ritualists who use there for their operation because there are some signs to show that the house may contain some treasures.
“In another thought, the house could have been abandoned by a rich man who may have died without the knowledge of the family. All these propelled me to confide on my friend, Daniel Christopher, 29, from Benue State.
“I told him the story but he also suggested that he has to include his friend, Mercy Nwodo, 30, from Abia State. I told them what happened when we met at ‘Baba Ijebu’ (betting) shop to discuss the matter. That was when we struck a deal and we entered the compound on August 9, 2019 by 10pm.
“We scaled through the fence and break the padlock from behind. Mercy stayed outside the gate as a spy while I and Daniel went into the compound. We were overwhelmed with fear of the unknown because the compound is a mini forest in the midst of several buildings in the vicinity.
“We then break open one of the burglary proof window, we broke it with iron and entered the house. That was when we heard a sound. We thought it was a spirit and we were expecting the worst.
“A man shouted at us saying ‘who are you and what do you want here? We moved closer and told him not to be scared that we won’t hurt him although we were screaming because the whole thing was frightening.
“We told him to relax that we won’t hurt him. The house was very dusty and lonely so we asked him why he is living there alone and what does he eat? He took us to his kitchen and showed us bottles of ragolis water and wine with no sign of food. He said he goes out only at midnight because he doesn’t want people to know he is in the compound.
“By this time, one of us Mercy was still manning the gate and when we were a bit convinced with the situation I went to call him inside the compound.
“When we entered the house, we saw 27 big Bibles arranged in a circle each were opened in different pages. The man said we never knew where we entered hence we shouldn’t have taken such a dangerous action.
“We asked him why he has decided to stay alone in the compound; he said he has been living like that since year 2013 without the wife because the wife did something bad to him by sleeping with his friend. I told the man we don’t expect to see him living in such a condition looking so feeble in a forest alone.
“Since we discovered that the man is rich, we begged him that we are hungry boys and that he should help us with money or anything that can make our lives better and he said we can take whatever we want. There were some flashy cars in the compound and we begged him for the cars and he said we can carry them. We then carry two jeeps. Even when we carried them, we didn’t know the cost of the cars, we were not armed but we believed we will get somebody to buy them.
“Everything in the house were wrapped with foiled papers. He was like spirit. We never believed he was human not until now. We met one Mr Morgan who told us that he can sell the Toyota Highlander jeep for N2 million while we decided to keep the Toyota 4 Runner jeep for our personal use and since then, we have been using the car.
“We were arrested by the police in the process of selling the Highlander jeep. I believe Mr Morgan, who was supposed to sell the vehicle for us involved the police and we were arrested because the man never reported the matter to the police but that was when I remembered what the man said that we never knew where we entered.”
On his part, the victim, a lanky looking man in his sixties with heavy dreadlogs and beards who wants to be addressed simply as Mr Jimoh is a retiree from one of the multimillion naira companies.
According to him: “On August 9, I heard some noise in my sitting room. When I raised my head I found two men inside. My house has a high security set up with high security doors and burglary so I don’t know how they gained entry into my house. They damaged the window. Later on the third person came in and told me that he is a murderer saying that I will be killed if I don’t cooperate with them.
“They collected the papers and keys of the vehicles. They kept one of them to stay with me in the kitchen while others ransacked the house and took my electronics, phones, money my Samsonite box. They also took two petrol generators two batteries of my diesel generators and other valuables and left.
“They left with a warning that they were policemen from the State Criminal Investigations Department, SCID, Panti and threatened that I should not attempt to tell anyone or make report to the police or if I do the next time they come they will kill me. So I remained in my house and kept the incident to myself.
“Seven days after, some policemen came to my house. I was afraid and asked me to open the door and come out. I was afraid that they have come back to kill me since those boys said they were from the SCID.
“They pleaded with me to come out and I noticed the three boys who came to rob me earlier in handcuffs that was when I was convinced and opened my door to meet them. The police said they arrested them at the point of selling the vehicles at a giveaway price. Those vehicles I bought them brand new and they cost over N2 million each.
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