A robber desperate to escape the long arm of the law has jumped into the Lagoon from the Third Mainland Bridge.
No one could, however, tell if the 19-year-old robber identified only as Junior survived or swam out, as he fled with the loot.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the suspect was among a four-man gang that specialised in using vehicles to rob commuters, aka one chance.
The gang was said to have succeeded on Monday and were heading towards the Lagos Island when they were intercepted by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, who had been tipped-off by a victim.
Although three of the alleged robbers were caught, the fourth suspect who had the loot was said to have jumped into the lagoon after he escaped being killed by two speeding vehicles.
A community leader, Musbau Adekunle, said the gang had robbed one of his subordinates in the Oodua Peoples Congress on Sunday, adding that in anger, the OPC placed a curse on the robbers.
He said, “On Sunday, we were to have a meeting at Bariga. The money for the meeting was being brought by the Abore, Jamiu Ojuroye, when he was attacked by the robbers.
“Abore said he entered the bus at Estate bus stop and he sat in front with another passenger, who made way for him to sit in the middle. When the vehicle got to Iyana Ogudu, the robbers asked all the passengers to cooperate and dispossessed them of their valuables.
“Abore started struggling for the control of the steering with the driver and the supposed passenger beside him, sprayed a peppery substance on his face. They pushed him down at Ifako after collecting his money, phones and ATM cards.
“When he narrated his ordeal, we went to the shrines of Ogun and Esu. We gave Ogun and Esu what they liked to eat and requested that the suspects be caught.”
Musabu said on Monday that his son, Semiu, a mechanic, was heading for Oshodi to buy spare parts when he entered the gang’s vehicle.
He explained that like Ojuroye, Semiu was also dispossessed of his personal effects and thrown out of the bus.
“He started shouting and calling for help. A taxi driver decided to help him and they gave the vehicle a chase.
“When they got to Olopo Meji bus stop, they saw the gang dropping off some other victims that had been dispossessed. They did not block the bus because it might not be safe. However, the bus turned and faced Obalende (Lagos Island).
“When they got to Berger bus stop, they informed the police who trailed the bus. The police caught up with the gang around UNILAG Waterfront on the Third Mainland Bridge. A policeman brought out a gun and ordered them to park. After the driver parked, the four suspects fled. Some motorists parked their vehicles and raised the alarm.
“A car hit the first robber. He stood up and attempted to continue running, but was hit by a second car. The police and my son got a motorcycle, chased and apprehended the other three suspects. However, the first robber who was hit by two cars jumped into the lagoon,” he added.
The three arrested robbers were identified as John Akinyemi, 27; Paul Olise, 37; and Amos Williams, 21.
Ojuroye said the robbers took N150,000 from him, adding that Akinyemi drove the bus on Sunday.
Semiu told the police that the robbers collected his telephone and the sum of N500,000 before he alerted the RRS.
The RRS, in a statement on Wednesday, said the suspects were arrested by men monitoring the Iyana Oworo end of the expressway.
“The policemen, after being informed that the one-chance robbers were operating around the area, chased the bus, a Volkswagen with number plate, AKD 562 XP. The robbers, after being waylaid by the officers on the Third Mainland Bridge, abandoned their vehicle and fled on foot.
“But they were arrested. One of the robbers, who was later identified as Junior, 19, was hit by speeding vehicles twice on the bridge before he jumped into the lagoon,” the police said.
A member of the gang, Akinyemi, said the group had been operating for over three months in Lagos.
He said, “There were four of us and it was our first trip for the day. We took four passengers at Estate bus stop in Alapere. They were going to Oshodi when we dispossessed them of their valuables and dropped them off before Iyana-Oworo.”
A police source noted that the suspects confessed that Junior knew how to swim and he was the custodian of the gang’s loot.
The state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, who paraded the suspects at the command headquarters at Ikeja, said they would be arraigned at the end of investigation.