A female victim, Yewande Adeboye, who claimed to have been seriously injured after she was pushed off by the 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.
Another victim, Razaq Rasheed, said he boarded the bus from Anthony to Hassan Bus-stop, also on Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, but ended up being pushed off the bus mid- way into the journey after he had been dispossessed of his phone. He said, “I boarded the bus from Anthony but the conductor and driver distracted my attention saying they were no longer going in that direction. I later realised my phones had been snatched. Thank God they were both apprehended.”
The Chairman of the Task Force, SP Olayinka Egbeyemi, said the operation was carried out after a victim reported that he was robbed inside a commercial (Volkswagen) bus and a Task Force enforcement team with KAI officials were deployed to chase them and they were apprehended around Mile 2 area with 50 different stolen mobile phones.
Egbeyemi told Sunday Vanguard the robbers had been charged to court and convicted while the recovered items had been returned to their owners on ‘bond’ after a thorough screening.
The Chairman enjoined members of the public to always report illegal and criminal activities around them to law enforcement agencies.
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 they daily operated in different parts of the state like Obalende, Orile, Pen-cinema, Ojota and environs and any passenger who refused to cooperate with them would be beaten and thrown out of the bus while still in motion.
“We had been in 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.”
The Task Force Chairman said the men were each sentenced to seven years imprisonment after they both pleaded guilty to the one count charge of ‘conspiracy to steal contrary to Section 409 of Lagos State Command Law of 2011’ 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.