The Rivers state police command has arrested a 25-year-old female robbery suspect, Precious Okoye, who revealed her reason for joining the evil trade.
Okoye who was arrested recently in Port Harcourt, Rivers state said;
“I used to sell drugs at Rossrous Hotel. I have three
children. One day, my husband left us with N1,000 and went to Lagos
State. I met Emeka and he promised to introduce me to a business. Emeka
knew I was poor and I ended up following them to a robbery operation. I
followed them to a house at Bolingo Road in Igurita. We stole household
items like generator, stabilizer, Home Theatre, Plasma TV and Gotv
decoder. The gang sold the Plasma TV for N20,000 and the DVD for N2,000.
I was given N500 as my share of the money. After we went for the
second operation, I asked Emeka to allow me keep the things we stole for
the gang and he agreed. But I later took them all and refused to give
them anything, Emeka fought with me but I didn’t listen to him,” she
A 22-year-old named Oliver Nwokocha, who is one of the members of
Okoye’s gang admitted he shot the victim, identified as Usman Zabadi,
but while narrating the scenario surrounding the incident, said he did
it in anger.
“We went to another house. The man in that house ran into
the kitchen and I followed him. He hit me with a gas cylinder and
poured hot pot of soup on me. I got angry and shot him. I didn’t know he
died,” Nwokocha said of his victim.
Being a member of a seven-man gang of robbers including Angel,
Nwokocha was arrested along with six other suspects, Junior Nmeni, Emeka
Iwuayawu, Victor Nwabusis, Sunny Nweke and Ezekiel Ishaya and Angel.
The gang allegedly specialised in breaking and entering people’s homes
at night. One of the most harrowing acts of the gang was abducting a
13-year-old girl during one of their robbery operations, raping her and
still went ahead to collect ransom from her family before releasing her.
The suspects were arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of
Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, in Port-Harcourt, Rivers
The gang’s waterloo started after they killed Zabadi in his house on
Poultry Road, Rukpokwu in Port Harcourt.After killing him, they carted
away items like television sets, two mobile phones and an Automatic
Teller Machine (ATM) Card. So vicious was Nwokocha in the operation that
he was said to have sprayed Zabadi’s face with bullets, leading to his
death. According to the police, Nwokocha, armed with an Automatic Pump
Action Gun, opened fire after the deceased poured hot soup on him.
“The gang went on to rob several other homes around
Iguruta and Upper- Deck areas of Port-Harcourt, Rivers State where they
dispossessed victims of cash and other valuables. The gang also
kidnapped and raped a 13-year-old girl during one of their operations
and a ransom of N200,000 was paid before she was released to her
family,” a police source said.
Following series of petitions directed to the IGP, Ibrahim Idris, by
many of their various victims, a team of operatives led by a
Superintendent of Police (SP), Martins, was deployed to Rivers State and
the team trailed the suspects through late Zabadi’s wife’s ATM card
which the suspects had been using to withdraw money. “Images generated
from the ATM transactions were distributed among police informants
around Iguruta area of Port-Harcourt.
One of the informants identified as Oliver Nwokocha, confessed to the
crime during interrogations. He assisted the police in the arrest of
I went into crime in January this year. That was after my
uncle was killed by some people in my community. The people that killed
him wanted to take over our land and the killing of my uncle sparked a
community fight. I went to my friend, Junior, who has an Automatic Pump
Action Gun. I used it in the fight. One day, Emeka told me that Junior
wanted us to go for a robbery operation. I took the gun to Emeka and we
met at Iguruta where Emeka and two others; Ifeanyi, and Victor, took me
to a house in Rukpokwu.
While we were breaking into the house, the people in the building started shouting ‘Jesus! Jesus!’” he told The New Telegrah
Angered by the screaming, the gang left that house and went to the
next house which turned out to be Zabadi’s apartment. It was there that
Zabadi attacked Nwokocha and in the process, met his untimely death.
Speaking further, Nwokocha said
“It was after I was arrested that the police told me that
the man I shot died. After that operation, I collected one phone and
sold it to someone. Emeka took one of the television sets to his place. I
had no intention of killing that man,” he stated, as if that is enough
to revive his late victim. Junior Nmeni, 28, who is believed by the
police to be the owner of one of the guns used by the gang, claimed that
he was lured into robbery after he lost his job and couldn’t take care
of his pregnant wife.
“I was formerly a cleaner at the Port Harcourt International Airport
where I earned N18,000. I joined the gang seven months ago because the
company I worked sacked me and things became very hard for my wife and
I. There was a gun that belonged to my late elder brother, I found the
gun inside his ceiling. I gave the gun to Oliver, who used it to rob and
later killed somebody. When he returned the gun, he told me what he had
done and I decided to join him. We robbed a man and a woman at Iguruta.
I kidnapped and raped the woman’s sister. I kept the girl in my house
for two days before Emeka and I started demanding a ransom. The woman
paid us N200,000, and I got N23,000 as my share.
The next operation was at a hotel and we went with two guns. “Elvis, a
gang member, brought the second gun. It was Sunny, another gang member
that brought information about the hotel. We got N21,000 from the hotel
and three phones. My last operation was at the home of Mr. Ogundun.
Elvis was the person that brought the job but on the day we went to the
house, we didn’t succeed because the man had a gun and shot at Oliver.
I haven’t made much money from the armed robbery business before I
was arrested. I was hoping to raise enough money from the business which
I intended to use for my pregnant wife’s delivery,” Junior concluded.
On his own, a 24-year-old primary school dropout named Iwuayawu, said:
“My late father was a native doctor and he didn’t bury his mother, who
is also my grandmother, before he died. My father drove me out of the
house when my mother, who is from Kogi State, left him. I went to
Port-Harcourt to look for job. When I couldn’t find any job, I went into
a bush at Unmuji Farm Road where I started selling Indian hemp. My
father fell sick and died, leaving me with the burden of burying him and
I had no money to take my father’s corpse to the mortuary. I
discovered that he sold all our landed properties before he died. While I
was on this, I had a fight with a man at St. Anthony’s Church in
Upper-Deck Area of Port-Harcourt. I was arrested and taken to prison
where I spent six months. When I came out of prison, I joined a friend,
Ifeanyi, who I met in prison. We started snatching people’s bags.
“I made some money from those robbery operations. I used the money to
bury my grandmother. I then joined Ifeanyi to carry out more robberies
hoping to raise more money, with which to bury my father. Ifeanyi took
me and two others to a house at night. When we entered the house, we
heard a woman praying and shouting ‘Jesus’. We left that house and broke
into another man’s house. We fired a shot and collected TV sets and
phones. I was given one of the TV sets which I gave to Okoye. Okoye is a
woman, who sells Indian help at Rossons area of Port-Harcourt. She told
me she has three children and her husband had abandoned her. She went
on two other robbery operations with us, where we gave her all the money
we made and the items we looted.”