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Police IRT arrest ex-convict, a trader for robbery, rape

Joy Anyim 

Two suspected members of a notorious armed robbery gang that specialized in robbing innocent residents of Aba Town have been arrested by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, in Abia State. 

The suspects, Promise Uzoma and Chukwuebuka Ogubuike, met their waterloo after they and members of their gang attacked an Aba based businessman, Nwokebuike Augustine, in his house at Umugbsi area of Aba Town, Abia State, and dispossessed him of his valuables including mobile phones, jewelry worth over N4.4million.  

Augustine, who was robbed by the gang in 2018, petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, over the development, as his housemaid, whose name was withheld, was also raped by members of the gang on their second operation.  

A police source who spoke on the condition of anonymity disclosed that the robbers stole gold jewellery valued at N3.9million, a cash sum of N250,000, Nokia and Samsung phones valued at N200,000, expensive perfumes and converse sneakers valued at N100,000, from Augustine’s house.  The source noted that after Augustine’s petition was approved by the IGP Mohammed, operatives of the IRT headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, were deployed to Aba Town, and two members of the gang were arrested after weeks of investigation.  

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While making a confessional statement, Uzoma, 23, said he joined the gang because his mobile phone was stolen and he was looking for money to replace his phone. Uzoma, a trader from Umuhaia in Abia State said: “I am a trader and I sell my clothes and footwears at Ojota, Market in Lagos State.  I used to buy my wears from Ariaria Market, in Aba, but a few months ago, my phone was stolen, in Aba town, while I was sleeping in one of my trips and someone took me to a native doctor who said he could prepare charms for me that would make the person who stole my phone to return it back to me. 

“ I bought the phone for N70,000 and the native doctor asked me to pay N30,000 for the charm and I gave him the money, but seven days after I made the payment, the person didn’t return my phone. I went back to the native doctor and informed him that his charms didn’t work and he asked me to pay an addition N7,000 so he can consult his oracle to know why his charms didn’t work. I refused and insisted that he should refund my money and he told me that he has given my money to his gods.  

“ I told him that was his business and that he should refund my money to me. He then inserted my money into a box and sprayed some powered on it, before handing it over to me. I took the money from him and I went to play a sports betting shop and I gambled with all the money. I got frustrated after I lost all my money to gambling then one of my friends, known as Udo approached me and told me that he has a robbery operation that he wanted me to take part in and he said I would replace my lost phone from the job and also raise some money for my business. He also asked me to invite one other person and I brought in my cousin brother, Chukwuebuka”

“On the day of the robbery, my brother brought a cutlass and Udo and his friend Kaita brought three cutlasses and a locally-made gun. We attacked a three-storey building in Osisioma area of Aba first and Udo and his friend entered into the house, while my brother and I waited outside. They stole some phones and Udo told us that there was another building we have to rob and the owner has lots of money and gold jewelry in his house. He also told me that he has once robbed the man and collected two phones from the man in the past and he would want my brother and me to enter into the man’s house because the man knows him very well.  When we got to the man’s compound, we met the doors open and we entered inside and met the man, his wife and their maid.  

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“ We pointed our gun at him and we demanded for money, his phones and the gold jewelry. He gave us N250,000 in cash and he brought out all his gold jewelry because we threatened to kill him if he doesn’t comply with our request.  I then raped his housemaid. I don’t know what came over me when I did it.  I also wanted to rape his wife but I left her because she was a nursing mother.  I got a Samsung phone and the sum of N100,000 as my share and I didn’t bother about the gold. It was after my arrest that I learned that the gold jewelry has a market value of N3.9million “ he lamented. 

Chukwuebuka, who had been to prison twice, said he had vowed to turn a new leaf when his brother, Uzoma invited him to join the gang for that operation; he said: “ I have been to prison twice, the first was in St. Michael area of Aba, where I bought two stolen laptop from a thief, simply identified as Emma. I was taken to prison where I spent three months that was in 2017.  After I came back from prison, one of my friends gave me links to work as a security man for a lawyer and after working for him and he refused to pay me my salary and I stole his wife’s bag and his phone. I spent one month in prison and when I came out, I had vowed to turn a new leaf,  but my brother got me involved in this operation.  

“ The boys who brought the job told me that the man we robbed his house has gold and much money which he flaunts around town and we would make good money from the job. After the operation. I got only N100,000 as my share, also after the gold was sold, I didn’t get any reasonable money. It was when I was arrested that I learned that the gold was worth, N3.9million.  Additionally, I didn’t sleep with the maid during the operation, it was my brother that raped the maid. What I wanted was just money”, he maintained.