After weeks in custody, a man implicated by an armed robbery suspect has been released by the police.
Tunde Akanbi, 23, was released following the suspect, Ahmed Adekeye’s of his statement implicating Akanbi in a robbery in Ajangbadi, Lagos, last May 2.
Adekeye, 32, said he implicated Akanbi because he did not want to die alone.
At a media briefing, Lagos Command’s spokesman Ken Nwosu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) said Adekeye was caught on May 2 at Imude, Ajangbadi by members of a vigilance group and Neigbourhood Watch.
“Five of his gang members escaped; he was arrested. Ten minutes later, the vigilance group arrested another person identified as Tunde Akanbi and took him to the premises of the person the gang robbed. He was joined with Adekeye whose leg and hands were already tied on the ground.”
“At the Ikotun Police Station, Adekeye said Akanbi was a member of his gang, but when he was transferred to Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Scorpion House, he confessed that he implicated Akanbi because he did not want to die or suffer alone.
“Investigation is still ongoing and the suspect will be charged to court while the victim of circumstance, Tunde Akanbi, has been released and told to be reporting pending the conclusion of the investigation. Adekeye told SARS operatives that he lied to implicate Akanbi and that is why he is seen as a victim of circumstance.”
In his confession, Adekeye said: “Please tell Tunde Akanbi, to forgive me because it was devil that confused me. I did not want to die or suffer alone because of the seriousness of the armed robbery case. I was the only person arrested, but we were six in number. I have been into many police cells, but this is the first time I would be in SARS cell.
“I am from Iwo Village in Isi Local Government Area of Kwara State. I divorced my wife because of her unfaithfulness. My father, Adekeye Yusuf is late; he was a bus driver. He died in Ilorin in 2005 in an accident. My mother, Mrs. Ramota Adekeye, was the first to die because of the stress that my being a thief caused her. I live in Suru Alaba in Lagos.”
On the robbery that landed him in trouble, he said: “One of my friends, Aloma, a shoe maker based at Suru Alaba, called me to come and meet him at Ilogbo near Ajangbadi around 9.30pm. I met them in an Indian hemp joint, which is owned by Aloma.
They were five there. They brought three cutlasses and three wooden batons. I took one of the wooden batons. Then we went to Orisa Street, Imude and stayed in an uncompleted building at about 10pm. At about 1.30am, we went to the victim’s house, a self-contained apartment.
There were four of such apartments there. We broke the door of one of them, while Aloma cut the head of the owner of the house with cutlass. The man’s shout attracted neighbours and the vigilance group and people shouted “thief! thief! thief!” We ran to different directions; I ran to Mile 2. When I was caught, they asked me the names of my accomplices which I gave them. Maybe, that was why they went to the market and arrested Akanbi.
“When we were handed over to the police, I still insisted that Akanbi is one of us. Even when I was writing statement, they asked me whether I knew him and I said yes. We were there four days before we were transferred to SARS. There, I insisted that Akanbi is one of us because I did not want to die alone.”
In tears, Akambi said: “I have accepted his apology. I am from Okesuna side of Ilorin. I am a student of Arabic Studies. I have finished Q’uran but no money to continue. That fateful day, I just finished prayer and was coming back when one motorcycle rider carrying one person drove near me at about 7am on May 2. He asked me what I was doing there and I told him I was waiting to board a bus.
He asked me where I was coming from and I told him I was coming from where I went for prayers. He tore my shirt and started calling me a thief. He forced me on his motorcycle. I sat between him and the other person. I was taken to Orise where I saw Adekeye tied. They asked for my name and I told them. They asked Adekeye whether I was one of them and he said ‘yes’. I was detained in police station three days before we were transferred.
“Adekeye later told the Officer in Charge (O/C) of SARS that I was innocent; that he implicated me because he did not want to suffer alone. The O/C SARS ordered the investigating officer to hand me over to my people because I don’t know anything about the case.”
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