A member of a robbery gang operating in Owerri Metropolis and its environs, who simply identified himself as Ekene from Ahaba Orodo in Mbaitoli, escaped lynching last Wednesday at Ogbaku, Mbaitoli, as his gang members flee the crime scene leaving him behind.
Narrating her ordeal to this Reporter at the Ogbaku Police Division office, the robbery victim, a woman (names with held), said she finished a bank transaction during which she withdrew the sum of three hundred thousand naira for the offsetting of her bills.
According to her, “I was careful with the money in a polythene bag as I trekked along bank road to board a bus to Ogbaku my home, little did I know that I was being trailed by a gang of robbers operating with a Hilander jeep.”
She said she entered a bus along bank road to Ogbaku as it had started raining. On reaching Ogbaku junction, she came down and crossed over to buy corn while waiting for the rain to subside when suddenly a young man alighted from a motor cycle and started struggling the polythene bag with her.
The victim disclosed that out of fear, she threw the money bag into a shade where bread sellers were doing business. She said the robber quickly dived for the bag after kicking her down and pretending to brandish a gun which scared the bread sellers as they took to their heels.
She said, “I equally dived too to retrieve my money and after a big struggle the robber threw the bag to other members of the gang who were already waiting in the Jeep. I held tight to him and started shouting before people defied the rain and came to my help. By this time the occupants of the Jeep had zoomed off.”
An angry mob that immediately assembled, descended on the robber and was about setting him ablaze but for the undesired timely intervention of Police officers from the Ogbaku Police Station. After the Police formalities, the robber was taken to Owerri and handed over to men of the Anti Vice Squad.
As soon as the Police van left for Owerri, a mild drama ensued. No sooner had a young man who was riding a power bike drove into the Police Station, than he was arrested.
The young man told the Police that he had come to check on a friend whom he heard had an accident within the area. But luck ran out of him when somebody hinted the Police that the bike rider was one of bad boys wanted in the area. He was subsequently arrested and taken to Owerri.
On reaching the Anti Vice department, he was taken to where Ekene was. Ekene was asked whether he knew the bike rider, Ekene said, “na my friend but him no follow for this one”. He was also detained.
A Police source who spoke on condition of anonymity told Trumpeta that the “two friends” would help the Police in their investigations.