A 21-year-old man, Ekene Chukwuan, arrested by operatives of Rapid Response Squad, RRS, of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly stealing tricycle, popularly known as Keke Napep, and motorcycles (Okada) in Lagos, has revealed that his gang sells stolen tricycles for N80,000.00 and motorcycles for N40,000.00.
He also revealed how he was introduced into motorcycle and tricycle stealing business by his mentor, who he referred to as Alhaji. Meanwhile, an Okadaman, popularly called Anishere Kukushi, who operates in Ikotun area of the state, told Vanguard that a new tricycle cannot be bought for less than N500,000, while an Okada is priced from N200,000 upward.
The suspected thief, Chukwuan, who is alleged to be a member of a five-man gang that specialises in the crime, was nabbed in the early hours of Thursday after he and four other members of his gang broke into an apartment at Iyana-Ejigbo.
Chukwuan said: “I relocated from Amukoko to Ijora in search of greener pastures because I was told there is money in Ijora and Mushin. “I worked as a truck pusher at Ojuade Market, where I helped people convey their goods from one location to another before Alhaji told me to stop the work for a better one.
“Alhaji told me he was called for a work by one Ajona, and asked me if I will like to join him, promising me a better pay and less stress. I accepted Alhaji’s idea, but didn’t know we were going for robbery.
“On getting to Ejigbo, Ajona, who is the leader, told us to stay at a particular place till night fall before entering into the apartment where we unchained a motorcycle and a tricycle.
“We put the motorcycle inside the tricycle while Ajona drove off with two others in the tricycle.
“We were on our way when we met RRS men, who stopped us but we refused to stop. So they chased us. We were at full speed, trying to escape, when we crashed.
“We took to our heels, but the policemen caught me.” He also claimed in a statement to the police that “we sell stolen Keke Napep for between N75,000.00 and N80,000.00, while motorcycles are sold between N30,000.00 and N40,000.00.”
I wept like a baby—Keke’s Owner
Meanwhile, owner of the motorcycle, Mr. Nduka Oyekachi Innocent, 31, who was alerted of the theft and invited to RRS office, said he wept like a baby on discovering that his Keke was missing because he got it on a hire-purchase arrangement from a businessman.
He was to repay N1,000,000.00 within one and half years, according to the agreement he signed. He explained further that the businessman gave him the tricycle in February and he had just repaid N220,000.00 out of the N1,000,000.00.
His words: “I woke up the following morning only to discover that the Keke was missing. I searched everywhere, including the drainage because I was so much devastated and worried about the debt and how to take care of my family.
“Immediately, I went to Ejigbo Police Station to report the incident before I was informed later that RRS officers had arrested one of the suspected thieves.” Recovered from the suspect were iron cutter, a tricycle and a motorcycle.
The suspect has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department for further investigations.