- Abuja, Nigeria's capital has been taken over by one-chance robbers, who continue to take advantage of unsuspecting commuters and rob them of their valuables
- Transportation is a major issue in Abuja, hence suspected one-chance robbers capitalize on the problem to dupe passengers
- Passengers are often swindled because of their personal greed, making the illegal 'business' of one-chance to thrive in the nation's capital
FCT, Abuja- Mr John Akogwu got pushed off a moving vehicle around the Mabushi area of Abuja. Luckily, he fell to the good side of the road and sat down unhurt. Apart from some minor bruises on his legs, John looked fresh and unruffled. People gathered around him when Legit.ng approached him for details of what happened to him. Mr John warned his image should never be used in the story.
He narrated how he was picked from 2.1 junction in Kubwa, in the nation's capital by a car he had thought was a commercial taxi.
Do you have a groundbreaking story you would like us to publish? Please reach us through email@example.com!
According to him, he was to alight at the popular Berger roundabout, but before they could get to Beggar, a conversation ensued between the driver and the supposed passenger who insisted that she checks the boot of the car to be sure that her dollar notes were intact inside a sack popularly called ghana-must-go in Nigeria.
"The driver suddenly stopped and asked all of us to come down to bear them witness that the dollars were intact. We all came down and I saw a ghana-must-go filled with dollars. My body was shaking. We all returned to the vehicle to continue with our trip. But the conversation changed again, as the owner of the bag appealed to the driver to follow him to a native doctor's place to perform a ritual on the money before it could be spent.
"It was at that point that we all got more interested. The driver said he was not going alone and that he would be needing another person to join. The man promised to share the money with those willing to join him. I realized that I had heard a similar story before. A friend had told me about her experience and encounter with Abuja One-chance. At that point, I realized they were fraudsters, so I told them to stop the vehicle as I wasn't going again. But they kept going. "
He said he started struggling with one of them sitting by one of the doors until they gave up and threw him down while the vehicle was still in motion.
"I was just lucky. It could have been worse," John said.
What is one-chance robbery?
'One chance,' is a slang used to refer to a form of robbery where some criminals pose as commercial taxis to lure unsuspecting passengers into their taxi in order to swindle them. Most one chance victims end up taking loans from family members, banks, or selling their property to meet up with the demands of the criminals. They will go the extra mile because of the promise that whatever they contribute would multiply 100 folds. Victims are often cautioned not to disclose to anyone the details of their transaction else the ritual will be rendered impotent.
Another one-chance victim narrates own experience
Mr Thomas Ejike, a resident of Kubwa in Abuja, said that one chance robbers have over 20 other ways to swindle their victims.
He cited 3 different cases to justify his point. According to him, some use chemicals that put one to sleep, and they will successfully take their victim to their hideouts for further exploits.
He further revealed that some use knives, ropes, and other weapons to threaten those who fall prey to them.
According to him:
"Besides weapons and chemicals, majority of them are gifted when it comes to fictional stories which they tell their victims just to lure them to their hideouts."
Another victim who claimed anonymity alleged that police hardly arrest these criminals. He further alleged that men of the force are sympathetic to the criminals, a reason he could not disclose.
But when Legit.ng reached out to DSP Josephine Adeh, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, she said most of the victims hardly report their experiences to the police.
“What will the police do if they don’t come up with the details? People who narrated their experiences to you, did they report to any police station? To help the police, all such cases must be reported,” She said.
Another police officer who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorized to speak dismissed that the police was sympathetic to one chance robbers.
"That is not possible. The police can never be sympathetic to criminals. The problem is the level of poverty on the land and greed too. Many people are naturally greedy and hardly read in-between the lines when they run into these elements.
"So instead of contacting men of the force, they prefer to walk away because their story could be quite embarrassing. How do you even walk to the police to report that you wanted to share the money you didn’t work for? Is money that easy to make? So majority of the victims know that their greed was responsible and their greatest undoing too. They won’t report the matter. But no matter how embarrassing it seems, one needs to report the situation. It will help the police and even help other people too.”
He argued further that the police had on several occasions apprehended one chance robbers in Abuja and other states.
Police arrest one-chance robbers in Abuja
Legit.ng recalls how police nabbed one chance robbers in Abuja in 2018.
The FCT Special Anti-Kidnaping Squad had arrested five suspected one-chance robbery gang who dispossessed unsuspecting passengers in their taxi.
They were consequently arrested after a victim’s phone was traced to one of the suspects.
Ending one-chance robbery in Abuja
Many incidents of one-chance robberies were also recorded in 2021. Police, however, carried out our major arrests.
In March 2021, The SUN reported that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command of the Nigeria Police Force arrested four suspects who were into “one-chance” robbery.
Some views as reported by our reporter have blamed the police for being sympathetic to these suspected robbers. They urged the police to do their job whether the victims fall prey out of their own greed or not. Others have argued that with the rampant cases of one-chance robbery, residents should be able to suppress their alleged personal greed.