Jungle Justice: How Mob lynched Lagos robbery kingpin who led 20 operations
Two suspected notorious members of a three-man armed robbery gang have been lynched by an irate mob at Mechanic Bus Stop, Ojo, along Badagry Expressway, Lagos.
The duo, an ex-convict, Tobi Michael, and another member, who had been terrorising Okoko, Iyana Isashi, Igbolerin and environs, met their waterloo during a failed operation.
The three hoodlums, who had already robbed a woman and her daughter at Igbolerin Bus Stop, arrived at the scene on a motorcycle, at about 6:00 am, last Tuesday.
However, trouble started while they were trying to dispossess a commercial motorcyclist of his motorcycle.
The rider resisted their attack and, at the same time, raised the alarm, attracting the attention of passersby who pounced on two members of the gang while their third colleague fled the scene.
When Sunday Vanguard got to the scene, it had become a tourist site of sorts as a crowd had gathered to see the bodies.
Eyes witness account
A road sweeper (name withheld), who witnessed the incident gave a vivid account of how it took place. “I resumed work this morning when the incident happened”, he said.
“It was the noise from their scuffle that made me notice something was happening. One of the robbers was shouting ‘leave it, leave it’.
“The motorcyclist refused to hand over the motorcycle to them.
“Almost immediately, the sound of a single gunshot rented the air. I ran several poles quickly and hid beside a stationary vehicle.”
Another eyewitness, Alabi Ajisegiri, who spoke to Sunday Vanguard at the scene, said: “It was the gunshot from the robbers and the shouts from the owner of the motorcycle that alerted people to the scene. “Eventually, when they took the motorcycle from the man, they could not ride it because it was locked. “Within a twinkle of an eye, the mob had gathered and began to beat them.
“One of the robbers, Tobi, ran across the road into the community, the mob chased after him, caught him and dragged him to the place where his colleague was.”
A food vendor at the bus stop who bemoaned the spate of robberies in the area said, “Robbery has become a regular occurrence along this route. “Almost every day, they rob innocent people. Some victims who are not lucky are killed. “This bus stop is one of the dark spots where robbers operate regularly between 5:00 am and 6:00 am when workers and artisans are going to work.”
It was learned that while the mob was beating the suspects, they discovered that they wore native bullet proof (charms).
So they tore their clothes and removed the charms and clubbed them to death.
Sunday Vanguard learned that one of the robbers, Tobi, recently returned from prison where he spent over five years.
Investigations showed that in October 2017, Tobi and one of his alleged partners in crime, Adigun Gbolahan, were arrested and paraded at the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja and sent to jail where he spent five years before his release.
During the parade, Tobi revealed that his gang was involved in a series of house-to-house robberies in Ijanikin, Igando and Ayobo.
He lamented that the police were able to arrest them because their charms failed when it mattered most. They were arrested after they and four other members of their gang raided a home at Ayobo.
Tobi, who said their shelter was the front of wooden stores at Alaba Rago Market, Ojo, Lagos, confessed they were involved in well over 20 armed robbery operations in the metropolis in the last one year.
Tobi, then-leader and armourer of the gang, admitted killing a man at Ayobo during an operation.
He said: “We had gone to rob in a house at Ayobo. “Six of us went for the operation.
“It was one Chidi who led us to the house we robbed.
“We arrived at the house around 10:00 p.m. “While four of us went into the compound by scaling the fence, two others kept vigil outside.
“Two of us were armed with guns while others had cutlasses. “When we entered the house, we met a man and his wife in the sitting room. “We ordered both of them to lie face down. “We went round all the rooms collecting all the valuables we saw. “Things we stole included phones, wristwatches, pieces of jewellery, laptops and cash.
“But as we were about to leave the house, the man pounced on me with a cutlass.
“He took us by surprise because we thought that he would be afraid of doing any such thing.
“He attacked me with the cutlass and I sustained an injury on my head. It was at that moment that I shot him.
“I did not have to check if he was still alive. I knew he had died because I shot him in the chest. We went out through the same way we came. We sold all the phones at Alaba Rago.”
By Vanguard News