The police in Lagos State are convinced that some robbers are cashing in on the ban on commercial motorcycles (okada) in some areas in the state as some of them now dress up as security agents under the guise of seizing bikes only to sell off them later.
Some police sources disclosed this to our correspondent after the arrest of two suspects who were apprehended while attempting to seize a motorcycle from its owner in the Apapa area of the state.
It was learnt that one of the suspects, Abdulrazaq Busari; dressed as a soldier and was accompanied by a second suspect, Suleiman Jinadu. They allegedly pretended to be enforcing the ban on okada when they were accosted by policemen attached to the Apapa Police Division and the Rapid Response Squad.
Police sources said the Divisional Police Officer of the station, CSP Usman Ndanbabo, had also led a team of policemen in an operation to impound motorcycles in the area, when they saw the suspects dragging a motorcycle from its rider.
Busari, who claimed to be 20-years-old, was said to be wearing the army camouflage. It was learnt that immediately they saw policemen, they attempted to escape, but the policemen gave them a hot pursuit and apprehended them.
The source said upon interrogation, the suspects confessed that they were civilians. They told police that they wanted to threaten the rider and collect money from him or collect the motorcycle.
The source said, “They were cashing in on the restriction on motorcycles in Lagos to snatch bikes from unsuspecting defiant riders using the army uniform.
“Busari said they bought the uniform from one Sanni, who claimed he got the uniform from a soldier. Buhari said Sanni sold the uniform to him for N1, 500. He claimed that immediately they gave Sanni the remaining N500, Sanni travelled to the northern part of the country.
“He said their intention was to use the uniform to make money by threatening commercial motorcycle operators. He said a man, Abdulhadi, promised to buy the motorcycles from them if they were able to snatch new ones.
“He said Abdulhadi promised to pay N50,000 for each motorcycle they delivered. Jinadu said he was the one who spoke with Abdulhadi who works at Ebute-Ero, Lagos Island. Jinadu claimed that the operation through which they were arrested was their first time.
“They said they were about to strike when they were apprehended. Jinadu said the uniform gave them the confidence that they would succeed in their escapade. He claimed that he and Buhari lived at the Central Mosque, Tinubu, Lagos.”
Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, had said during a press conference recently that many of the uniformed men seen perpetrating crime were not security agents but impostors in uniform.
When contacted on the telephone, Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, said she would call back. However, she had not done so as of the time of going to the press.