Lekki Bank Robber Becomes Born Again, Says They had Planned to Get N100m from the Robbery

Fresh facts have emerged on where and how the recent bank robbery in
Lekki area of Lagos was planned. On Thursday, March 12, at about 5pm, a
gang of dare devil armed robbers had through the Lagoon water front on
Admiralty way, Lekki, stormed a branch of First City Monument Bank
located on the popular street.The robbers went on rampage inside the
bank premises ransacking the vault, Automated Teller Machines and
dispossessing several members of staff of their valuables.
After the movie-like incident, the bandits left in their trail five corpses, three of which were policemen.
Embarrassed by the raid, the state Commis­sioner of Police, Kayode
Aderanti ordered the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the command to
track the suspects. Days later, four members of the gang were tracked
down and arrested by SARS team lead by SP Abba Kyari. They include Duke
Odogbo, 39-year-old leader of the gang, Lawrence Kingsley, 31,
Ebiworisuwo Tosan, 18 and Ekelemo Kuete, 30.

The suspects, who are all Ijaw boys from Ondo State, gave detailed
confession of how the robbery was planned from a camp located in the
creeks between Ogun and Lagos states known as Fatola
camp.
Also, a Honda Accord 2008 model, pur­chased by the gang leader with
the proceeds from the robbery operation, blackberry Z10 phone, White
Apple Iphone 5, a military Fez cap and 130 expended ammunition were
re­covered from them.
Duke, the man who led the gang to Lekki, claimed that he was invited
over to Lagos, to teach the boys in the creeks how to do oil bunkering.
His words:

“I never knew that it had anything to do
with robbery. I was broke and needed help since life had become hard in
Warri. I called Vicar and Kakadu to help a friend. He asked me to come
that life was better off in Lagos. He promised me to help me raise N500,
000. My intention was to help them improve upon what they had on ground
because I knew that they were not making much money. 

When I got to Lagos, I took a bike from
Agric bus stop in Ikorodu to a place they call Abule Oba which is close
to the water. We boarded a boat and ended up in a camp called the Fatola
camp. It was about 45 minutes ride and the camp is a world of its own. I
knew that place existed but I never knew it was that big. They were
using keg to move fuel but it was better off in Warri where we were
using drums to move crude oil. In Warri, I had my own local refinery and
was drilling directly from source but in Lagos they were vandal­izing
NNPC pipelines. 

They welcomed me very well and gave me a
special treat which include good food and women. After eating, I was
called to join their meeting. It was then they told me that they are
planning a bank robbery. It was then it dawned on me that Vikar
intentionally invited me because of their planned attack.”

Although he claimed that he was not aware of the plan to rob a bank, he decided to assist them since he is more experienced.

“I needed money and this was an
opportunity to make quick money with ease. I was initially worried
because I have heard of how armed robbers were arrested in Lagos. They
convinced me that Lagos has been peaceful for sometime and no one will
be expecting them to strike. Most importantly, I was convinced because
they assured me that every attention is on politicians. I asked them if
they had good in­formation and they told me that they had sent several
persons to enter the bank and study the environment. 

I was impressed and decided to join them since it is less stressful. I knew what it takes and since I have mastered the use of gun, I was asked to lead the team. 

The next day, being March 11, 2015, at
about 12pm, we boarded two boats with 10 persons each, started our
journey to Lekki. Because the area is swampy, it was difficult to move
fast, so it took us the whole day to get to the island. We waited till
about 5pm, when we were sure that the bank was through with the day’s
work. There was much traffic on the road and we discovered that there is
no way we will be in the bank without drawing atten­tion. I advised
them that the best thing to do was to scare everyone. 

Naturally, if you sud­denly hear the sound
of gunshot, you will run for your life before even thinking of picking
your phone to make distress call. Since we were dressed in military
uniform it was easier because people will assume that we are solid­ers
who decided to rob a bank. We also started shooting so that people will
abandon their cars and run making it difficult for any daring po­liceman
to come closer. We started shooting while I moved into the bank with
one other person”, he added.

Just like they predicted, the security men who were not on alert,
fled the scene long before the robbers arrived. According to him:

“The security men on duty fled when they
heard our gunshots from a distance. I was not ready to beg anyone to
open the door so I shot at the door and we moved in. We did not kill
anyone in the bank because they co-operated with us. I was surprised
that the manager man­aged to escape unnoticed. 

One of the staff, a man took us to the
vault and we collected the whole money there. We also moved over to the
ATM house and cleared part of it. I felt we had gotten enough, even as I
was told that the manager left with all the foreign currency in the
bank. The operation took us about 15 minutes to execute and we were on
our way back. It was on our way back that I discovered three new rifles.
I asked them how they man­aged to get them and they told me that they
belonged to three policemen that were killed at the scene. 

I was so angry with them for coming along
with the gun. I knew the implication. My uncle who was once killed and
his rifle taken was dismissed even in death. I was dis­appointed that
they killed those policemen. Their excuse was that they were at the
scene and was a major threat. I felt terrible when I heard on TV that an
innocent girl was also killed in the process,” Duke narrated.

Back to their camp, the gang quickly counted the money and
discovered that it disappointed when it was discovered that the only
money we got that night was N15million.

If I had entered the bank alone, maybe
they will assume that I took part of the money. I was given N500, 000 as
my share of the deal. This was so because there were so many persons in
the camp and they all got their own share of the money. They behave
like a community and I was told that they are all under an oath of
secrecy. That very night, it was all over the news, they gathered in
groups cel­ebrating the incident and laughing. I felt bad because of
those policemen and little girl that were killed. Normally, I do not
kill in an operation unless in self-defense. 

On Thursday, March 13, 2015, I left the
camp and trav­elled back to Warri. I even bought a newspaper that
published the robbery. I was amazed at the report and then very happy
that I am a star. They were talking about an incident that I personally
supervised. I also formed the habit of storing news­papers that featured
my exploit even in Warri. I laughed when politicians were accusing
themselves because of our visit,” he said.

Back home and N500, 000 richer, Duke claimed that he spent the money to construct another local refinery in Warri.

 “With the money I got I went back to my
bunkering business. It was the first supply that I made that I used to
buy a car. I was able to supply about 300 drums of crude oil. I had
moved on with my life when police came to my house in Warri and arrested
me. I was shocked, it was then I knew that God had finally arrested me.
It has never happened before, all the prob­lem that I had with security
men was on bunkering and I have never been jailed because of it. 

I had no choice but to co-operate with the
police. As soon as I was arrested and the policemen told me that they
are from SARs Lagos, I knew it was time to give my life to Christ. I
warned them in Lagos of the risk but they insisted that after the death
of those policemen in Arepo, no security man dared to visit them in the
creeks. I did not believe them, that is why I ran away immediately. To
the glory of God, I have given my life to Christ. He is the God of
second chance and I know that he will see me through. I know that I have
failed my family but I did everything I could do to provide for my
family,” he lamented.

When asked how he perfected his shooting skills, Duke said that every Niger Delta based militant knows how to han­dle guns.

“If you are into bunkering, the first
thing is to go for training on self-defense. We have boys in Niger Delta
whose job is to train people. It is a very risky job. Apart from
security men, your fellow man can decide to kill you and take over your
refinery”, he stated.

On why he did not embrace amnesty like the other mili­tants, Duke said that he was never a militant right from day one.

“We were happy when the President
announced that he was granting amnesty to the boys in the creeks. I
tried to join the amnesty but because I was not with them in the creeks,
they didn’t include me. I later travelled down to Warri where I learnt
the business of steel and building engines. I was able to get a job that
did not last for three years. 

Naturally, the only job available was oil
bunkering. I went into it in full scale and I was able to raise money to
marry my wife. It was one of the biggest in town. Although, we made so
much money, it was not an easy job. You invest so much money mounting
your personal drilling site and suddenly po­lice or navy will come and
destroy everything. We spent so much on guns and building the refinery.
For the past one year, they are no longer taking it easy with us and I
could not afford to rebuild the local refineries. This was why I called
Vikar to find a way out,” he said.

The second suspect, Ekelemo Kuete who was one of the drivers that
drove the boat to Lekki claimed that his own share of the loot was
N50,000.

“Every Ondo man must know how to swim and
paddle boat. I was advised by my fellow Ijaw men in Lagos that life was
far better here. Every man in Ondo who is into buying and selling fuel
knows about Fatola camp. It is one of the most coordinated camps in
Nigeria. They protect the interest of one another, and if you are
arrested, they will pay lawyers to help you get bail. 

I immediately joined them in the camp last
year when I relocated to Lagos. It is very easy to make money as a boat
driver in that camp. The only condition is that you will take an oath
and also pay dues to the leader of the camp known as Osy. 

On March 11, they appointed me to be one
of the boys that will drive them to Lekki. It was Osy, the leader of
Fatola camp that appointed me to join them. As the leader, he is not
ex­pected to join any raid job; vandalization or robbery. Initially, it
was Igbekorowa that was the leader in the camp but after the death of
those policemen in Arepo, he was asked to step aside. Part of our rule
over there is not to kill security men. If you do, the heat will be
much. 

We live as a family and so far, the reign
of Osy has been peaceful. I am even surprised that he approved that they
should attack banks. I heard that the person who gave them the
infor­mation assured them that the robbery will be very peaceful. We
were all disappointed when they counted the money and it was only
N15million. Everyone was expecting that they will come back with at
least N100million. There was an informa­tion that one Mallam was
bringing hard currency into the bank that day, Ekelemo said.

The third suspect, Ebiworisuwo Tosan, 19, who got N7,000 from the
loot told Saturday Sun that he came to the camp to serve the leaders.

“It is the rule in the camp that once
there is a successful raid, everyone in the camp must get a share. We
are under an oath and our current leader Osy is doing everything
possible to ensure that we are well taken care of. I do not have much
doing in the camp, I will go to Ikorodu with kegs of fuel and sell,” he
said.

He insists that the main reason why he decided to join oth­ers was to raise money to go to school.

“I have gotten an ad­mission to study
Petro-chemical engineering. I wanted to get certificate so that I can
get a legitimate work. My uncle told me that if I go to school, I will
get a job in any oil company. I did not join them for any of their jobs
because I am not old enough and has not gone for the regular training,”
he said.

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