Akeem Popoola, an indigene of Oke Ona in Abeokuta, Ogun State, suspected to be a robber, has claimed to be working for a police inspector attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja, who uses him to swindle unsuspicious victims. According to him, he only worked for the the policeman, identified as Inspector Festus, aka Ijaya, for about four months before his eventual arrest.
The young man who also doubles as a carpenter, is presently being detained at the Agbado divison, Ogun State, after he was arrested for robbery and burglary. On his arrest, a mattress and speakers of a sound system were said to have been retrieved from him in the Giwa area of Agbado on April 6th.
Aside theft, Akeem also collects phones from the inspector which he would later sell, as he told Punch, adding that the Inspector, Ijaya and two others- Abbey and Aluko – would then arrest the buyers shortly after for purchasing stolen items. To regain their freedom, the victims would pay between N120,000 and N150,000 from which he got a share of N5,000 per “deal”. According to Akeem Popoola,
“In November 2015, one of my father’s tenants and I fought. When my daddy came back home on that day, she reported me to him and he handed me over to Inspector Festus at the state police command headquarters, Ikeja. He told him I was too troublesome and wanted him to discipline me. But he (Ijaya) did not. He took me to a beer parlor at Alakuko and gave me N5,000. I was very surprised.
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“Two days after, we met at another beer parlour around Agbado, where I was made to swear an oath. He brought out a gun and put some gin inside the barrel. He drank from it and gave me the gun to do same. He said he would be sending me on some errands. He gave me a mobile phone and drove me in his Toyota Camry to POWA complex in Ikeja.
“He told me to sell the phone inside the complex which I did for N20,000. After an hour, he handcuffed me and took me in his car with his boys – Abbey and Aluko – to the man that bought the phone. He arrested the man and told him to pay N200,000 if he did not want to be taken to the station. The man raised N150,000 among his friends in that complex and gave him.
“When we left there, he removed the handcuffs and gave me N5,000 and we departed.”
21-year-old Akeem Popoola said his second business with Ijaya was an iPad which he sold to another victim around Ikeja. He disclosed that he also got a share of N5,000 from the N150,000 bribe allegedly collected by the inspector from the buyer, who was equally accused of buying a stolen item.
When he decided to discontinue the criminal lifestyle, Ijaya refused, threatening that he would die if he either quit from the agreement or told his father as they were bound by an oath. He added:
“Sometime in February, the inspector gave me a Techo phone which I sold to a guy at Agbado. The guy gave me N7,000 and a small phone. Thirty minutes later, we went back with my hands handcuffed. And as he normally did, he collected about N120,000 from him before he was released. I also got my N5,000 share. I can say all this in his presence”.
Making further revelations, Akeem Popoola said he had stolen a plasma television at Oke Aro area of Agbado following the order of Ijaya, maintaining that the item was still in the possession of the policeman.
Mr. Ahmed Popoola, the father of Akeem Popoola, blamed himself for giving him over to the policeman, saying his son was a thief before he took him to Ijaya for discipline, adding that he tried as much as he could to meet Akeem’s needs and on different occasions, had counselled him but it all fell on deaf ears. He said:
“He had been stealing before I took him to a police friend, Yekini, who handed him over toIjaya with a belief that he (Akeem) will change if he sees the way thieves are being punished. He had been embarrassing me. He still has a case in the Sango-Ota division. I was arrested and detained because of him.
“When he finished his secondary school, he told me he did not want to proceed to a higher institution. I enrolled him as an apprentice in my carpentry workshop and constructed a wooden shop for him when he graduated. He removed all the planks I used to construct the shop and sold them. Let the law take its course.”
The spokesperson for Ogun State Police Command, DSP Muyiwa Adejobi, made it known that the police were on the trail of Ijaya and his cohorts and that the case had been moved to the command’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
“The suspect was arrested for robbery and burglary. He mentioned Ijaya and some others and we have commenced investigation. If any of them is actually a policeman, we are going to send a signal to the command he is attached to and he will be arrested.”