31-year-old man, Adegboyega Tunji, who claimed to be an Economics graduate from the Obafemi Awolowo Univeristy, Ile-Ife, Osun State, has pleaded ‘extreme hunger and poverty’ as the reasons behind his robbery activities, when he was arrested on June 3 with his partner-in-crime, one Kelvin Eluwa.
Crime Reports learnt that Tunji and Eluwa were arrested by the police from Ashi Division of the Oyo State Police Command, in an operation led by the Divisional Police Officer, one CSP Julie Ajao, following a strong link given by the victim, one Dr (Mrs) Aluko.
The state Commissioner of Police, Leye Oyebade, told Crime Reports that the suspects invaded the home of the victim on the night of May 29 and hibernated within the compound until following morning when they attacked Dr Aluko when she stepped out into her compound, injured her and her h and carted away valuables. One of the suspects, Eluwa, was reported to have worked as a security guard in the area before the invasion.
Narrating her experience to Crime Reports, Dr Aluko said: “I woke up around 7a.m. on Monday, May 30. I opened the door to the kitchen tom step into the compound. I noticed a strange cloth by my car. I walked towards it to see who brought it there. As I was about picking up the cloth, I noticed two strange men within my compound walking towards me with knife and broken bottles in their hands.
“They actually wanted to stab me and I shouted: ‘Blood of Jesus!’ I also tried to flee from them to avoid being stabbed but one of them grabbed my hand, twisted it behind me and broke it. Immediately, I was destabilised because I could not do anything again. They pushed me into the house where my two daughters were.
“While inside, the robbers broke bottles on the floor and asked me and my daughter who had woken up to lay on them. One of them noticed I was looking towards a room, went in there and dragged my second daughter out. She was beaten and asked to join us on the broken bottles. The cuts and scratches we got from the bottles are just healing.
“They rushed into my study and packed four laptops, my tablet, my trinkets and those of my daughters, phones, DVD. They had a field day as they took their time to pack virtually everything in the house. They asked for my car key and when I didn’t want to disclose where it was, they put the knife they had on my daughter’s neck.
“They could not start the car because of the security, so they locked us in the car and went away with my valuables. How they left with those things still remains a mystery to me because they were loaded into boxes. We had to break the car window to get out of the car.”
Recovered from the suspects were four laptops, a gold Rolex wristwatch, a Samsung tablet, a Sony digital camera, Sony DVD player, five necklaces, Blackberry phone, a cable TV decoder, among others.
In an interview, Eluwa confessed to the crme, saying: “We sneaked in through the fence at night. I had worked in the area before as a security guard. My friend and I went on Sunday night and slept in the victims’ compound until the next morning. We attacked them when they came out in the morning. We boarded two motorcycles and went away with the items we took from the woman’s house.
“Police came to my house at Samonda area. During investigation, I confessed to the crime and took the police to my partner’s house. We did not use any gun for the operation; we only took a knife. The bottles we also used were found in her compound. I finished from Ikolaba High School, Ibadan. I did not go beyond that,” he said.
Tunji, the graduate, also said: “I got to know Kelvin when he used to come and eat in a canteen at my neighbourhood. My involvement in robbery was as a result of extreme hunger and poverty. I just finished from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. I studied Economics. I have tried to get a job but I have not been successful. I have engaged myself in teaching teachings children, but some of the parents would not pay me. They would ask me to come back.
“We never planned to rob on the day we attacked our victim. Kelvin and I were hungry and he told me that there was a rich man in that neighbourhood and that a party was going to hold. We decided to attend the party to pick remnants to eat. Unfortunately, the party did not hold again, so we decided to try our luck on that woman. We saw the knife we used to threaten the woman and her children on our way to her house.”
When asked whether he was a member of Aye Confraternity, going by their emblem, an axe, which was among the exhibits recovered by the police, Tunji said it was not recovered from him, adding: “I regret my action.”
Mr Oyebade said that the duo would be arraigned in court after the conclusion of investigations into their case.