Two 'One Chance' robbers, Chuckwudi Ezeudo and Wilfred Ukpo have both been sentenced to seven years imprisonment each, after they both confessed and pleaded guilty to the charge of ‘conspiracy to steal. The 2 convicts were arrested after they robbed an innocent passenger, Uzor Philip of his two bags, which contained valuables, and a cell phone.
According to Vanguard,Uzor Philip had boarded a bus going from Oshodi to PWD area of Lagos at about 6pm, carrying two bags which contained valuables. Being the rush hour, the area was crowded with several people who wanted to go home, when a pick and drop bus, with number plate EPE 165
XS, approached and stopped.
Philip boarded the bus and sat behind the driver but was persuaded to by the driver to seat in the front seat with another 'apssenger'.
When they got to Ladipo, the bus conductor announced that the front door was faulty and that he needed to quickly ‘fix’ the problem.
As soon as the driver slowed down, the ‘co-passenger’ pushed Philip out of the moving bus, which made it unable for him to retrieve his his two bags and cell phone (Techno W2). The bus immediately made a u-turn and headed back to Oshodi.
When Philip realized that he was a victim of ‘one-chance’ he raised the alarm which attracted members of the Task Force who launched a chase after the bus.
During the chase, the Task Force members realized that the bus was far ahead of them and almost gave up the chase, when they sighted a patrol van of the Lagos State Task Force returning from an operation. They informed the Task Force team of what was going on and those ones went after the bus and caught up with it around Mile 2.
One of the suspects took to his heels while the driver and his conductor were apprehended and the bus impounded by the Task Force. 50 cell phones and other valuables were recovered from the bus. On switching on some of the cell phones calls began to come in from their owners and the Task Force requested their contacts so they could return the phones to their rightful owners after proper identification.
Speaking with Sunday Vanguard, one of the victims, whose mobile phone (Alcatel Pop Star 5) had been snatched, Ajimati Adeyemi, 33, said he joined the bus with other passengers along Mile 2 when the conductor and one other person, dressed in ‘black suit’, suddenly stood up and collected all their cell phones and wallets before they were forced down at different bus-stops before Mile 2.
“I was surprised when I called my mobile line and I was told to come to Lagos State Task Force at Bolade, Oshodi where it was returned to me along with others.”A female victim, Yewande Adeboye, who claimed to have been seriously injured after she was pushed off by the same bus conductor, said she was sexually assaulted and nearly raped before her mobile phone was snatched at Rainbow Bus-stop along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos by the same crew.
The Chairman of the Task Force, SP Olayinka Egbeyemi, said the robbers were chased and captured after a victim reported that he was robbed by the people in the bus . He said they were apprehended around Mile 2 area with 50 different stolen mobile phones.
In their statements, the convicts, Chuckwudi Ezeudo, of No. 1, Ezeudo Lane, off Babarin Street, Ajegunle, and Mr. Wilfred Ukpo, of No. 1, Ajose Street, Ajegunle, Olodi-Apapa, Lagos, confessed they had been using the bus to rob commuters around Lagos.
They confessed that they frequently operated in different parts of Lagos like Obalende, Orile, Pen-cinema, Ojota and its environs. He admitted that any passenger who refused to cooperate with them ended up being beaten and thrown out of the bus while still in motion.
“We had been in this business for a long time and, snatching more than 50 phones and other items daily which we sold as fairly used at Computer Village, Ikeja and Ajegunle. “Sometimes we even indecently assault our victims, especially women.”Egbeyemi told Sunday Vanguard the robbers have been charged to court and convicted while the recovered items had been returned to their owners on ‘bond’ after a thorough screening. He said the men were each sentenced to seven years imprisonment after they both pleaded guilty to one count of ‘conspiracy to steal contrary to Section 409 of Lagos State Command Law of 2011’ which was levelled against them.
Magistrate Lateef Owolabi, of the Lagos State Mobile Court, Oshodi, said the seven years jail term without option of fine was to serve as deterrent to others still into criminal.
The Chairman urged members of the public to always report illegal and criminal activities around them to law enforcement agencies.