A member of a four-man gang which specialises in robbing unsuspecting passengers of their valuables in a commercial bus leapt into the Lagos lagoon following a hot pursuit by armed police officers.
The police said in a statement on Wednesday that three of the robbers were, however, caught by the operatives of the Rapid Response Squad.
The robbers, John Akinyemi, 27; Paul Oliseh, 37; and Amos Williams, 12; were arrested on Monday afternoon on the Third Mainland bridge after a chase by the Rapid Response Squad patrol team monitoring Iyana-Oworo.
The policemen after being informed that the ‘one-chance’ robbers were operating around the area, chased the bus, a Volkwagen Transporter with the registration number, AKD 562 XP to the bridge.
The police said when the RRS officers’ patrol van pulled up before the robbers on the Third Mainland Bridge, they abandoned their vehicle and were fleeing on foot when they were arrested.
One of the robbers, who was later identified as Junior, 19, jumped into the lagoon with the gang’s loot.
According to Mr Akinyemi, the leader of the gang, “there were four of us. I was in charge of calling the team to work. It was our first trip for the day. We took four passengers in Estate Bus Stop in Alapere.”
Mr Akinyemi said they dispossessed the passengers, who were going to Oshodi, of their valuables before dropping them off near Iyana-Oworo.
“We took their phones and money. We have been doing this for more than three months. We sell the mobile phones and jewelry, and we share the money.”
One of the victims, Semiu Oluwaseun, who alerted the RRS officers immediately he was thrown out of the moving bus, said the robbers collected his phone and ₦500,000.
Another victim, Jamiu Ojuroye, who was robbed on Sunday night, identified Mr Akinyemi as the driver of the bus he was robbed in. He said he was robbed of ₦150,000, after pouring a peppery substance on his face for struggling with them, before throwing him out of the moving bus.
The alleged robbers were paraded on Wednesday by Imohimi Edgal, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, at the Command Headquarters.