An alleged notorious armed robber, Kunle Akerele, a.k.a. Poly, has given chilling details of how his gang usually cut off victims’ fingers and wrists to force them into submitting their valuables. Akerele and other members of his syndicate: Toyin Adewale, Nurudeen Akorede (Sypon), Oluwaseyu Makinde, Tunde Yusuf (To Door) and Bankole Mohammed, alias Hunter were arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT) at Ikotun.
Akerele’s arrest was led by Abba Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police. The suspects, who were paraded on Wednesday by the Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, told newsmen that they cut the fingers and wrists of over 20 victims in one operation for lying to them.
Admitting he was leader of the syndicate, Akerele said they adopted the strategy after they discovered that most of their victims usually gave them inferior phones each time they went on house raids. He said: “We operated at Agege, Aburo and Iyana Ipaja areas of the state. We used to raid people’s homes and when we started, we were not cutting off their fingers or wrists. The people made us become wicked because each time they knew we were coming, they will keep small phones ready for us to collect. They will also tell us they don’t have money at home.
“One day, one of my boys suggested we get cutlass and teach the people a lesson. We tried it and it worked. Our first victim was a rich man who had many expensive cars in his home. When we got in, we asked for his phone and he gave us a small Nokia. We saw his gold wedding ring and told him to bring it out but he was acting as though it was hard to bring out. So, we cut off his three fingers and the moment his wife saw what happened, she did not waste time in bringing out hers.
“It happened on January 13 at Aboru community. We needed money when we carried out the raid. All the people were busy giving us small phones. After we left the man’s house, we went back and dealt with all those who lied to us by giving us small phones. Over 20 people’s wrists, fingers were cut that day. We did it for future purpose so that the news would spread and the people will be forced to bring out money when next we struck.”
Asked how the gang got firearm, Akerele said they collected weapons from Tunde (Yusuf) who got them from a local vigilante member. “We settled Tunde after each operation. We do not know his arrangement with the vigilante guy. Initially, we thought the guns were expensive but later we heard he bought them at N20,000 each.”
According to the police, over 85 phones and 33 laptops were recovered from the buyer of items the gang stole, adding that it was the receiver who led police to where the suspects were hiding. “My men are after two members of the gang who are on the run. The case will be charged to court at the end of investigation,” Muazu said.