The hope of parents is to have their children and grandchildren cater to their needs, especially, at their old age. That expectation may not include the 19-year-old Dapo Olukoya, a Lagos resident. Rather, he might have already become a curse to his father, and more of that to his grandfather.
The young man was alleged to have invited a gang of armed robbers to attack his grandfather, Mr. Reuben Olukoya, recently in his house at the Epe area of Lagos State.
Nemesis, however, caught up with him, when detectives who were on â€˜stop-and-searchâ€™ duty arrested one of the gang members at Ikorodu. He spilled the beans, confessing that it was Dapo, who initiated the crime against his grandfather.
He was nabbed alongside eight other members of the gang and they are being detained at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Lagos State Command headquarters. Police said they efforts were being intensified to track down others at large.
According to police, the gang, which was led by 22-year-old Jamiu Ayinde, had been linked to many robbery incidents in Ikorodu and its environs.
Trying to justify his action, Dapo, an â€˜electricianâ€™, blamed his father for not giving him the necessary training and empowerment to enable him face future challenges. He said even with the huge amount of money his father realized from the sale of the family land, the old man could not empower him.
He said, when all efforts to convince his father to rent a befitting shop for him failed, he decided to raise the money himself by or crook.
To pave way for the robbery attack, he disclosed that he started getting closer to his grandfather, who is also the head of the family and the one responsible for the sale of any property which belongs to the family. â€œI started getting closer to my grandfather, when I discovered that my father had little or no right now, in terms of distribution of the wealth of the family,â€ he said.
Excited about the â€˜cordial relationshipâ€™ between him and his grandchild, Pa Olukoya decided to involve him in business transactions, especially, processing of documents for people who came to buy land. â€œHe used to send me to process documents for him, that was how I know that some people were about to bring money to the house.â€
And when he heard about the next transaction, he quickly consulted his friend Abiodun Adeleke, who promised to help him perfect the plan. â€œI told Abiodun that we were about to sell 40 plots of land at N300,000 each and he promised to recruit some of the boys who were used as thugs during the last election. He said it would be easier to mobilize them now, as the boys no longer have or means of livelihood after the elections.â€
Relieved, Dapo promised to contact Abiodun as soon as he confirmed that the money had been paid. One Sunday morning, he saw the buyers and waited till his grandfather confirmed that some money had been paid to him. He quickly called Abiodun and asked him to assemble his boys to get ready to strike that night because his grandfather was likely to deposit the money in the bank the next day.
As an alibi, Dapo decided to attend a vigil in their church. â€œNaturally, I hate attending vigil, but because I did not want anybody to suspect that I had hand in the robbery, I decided to go the church.â€
And while in the church, Dapo prayed seriously for the success of the robbery operation. When his phone rang, he was excited, hoping that his gang members had called to inform him that the robbery was a successful one. Unfortunately, it was to inform him that his grandfather insisted that there was no money in the house.
â€œAt 7.48pm, Abiodun called to say that I gave them wrong information. He told me that my grandfather refused to cooperate with them. I reassured them that there was money in the house, and that if they applied a little force, my grandfather would bring it out. But I never told them to shed blood. They called back to inform me that they found little or no money on my grandfather.â€
After the vigil, Dapo rushed back home only to find the entire household in a sorrowful mood. He was told that his grandfather was unconscious, as a result of the torture he received from the armed robbers. He also saw his brother, Daniel, in a corner of the house, in the pool of his own blood, gasping for breath.
â€œI felt pity for them, especially, knowing that I was the brain behind the crime.â€
Dapo started another drama, by raining curses and abuses on those responsible for the robbery attack. He didnâ€™t stop there, he also volunteered to help the family track down the robbers. Yet, he had his ears on the ground, to find out the amount of money that was stolen from their house. â€œThat was when I knew that they actually collected N300, 000, handsets, jewellry and camera from members of my family,â€ he said.
The next day, Abiodun invited Dapo to a spot at Ayetoro, near Epe market, and gave him N7, 500, as his own share of the loot. But the game was up. As Abiodun was at home, thinking of how to enjoy his loot, some detectives showed up with Dapo, and arrested him.
â€œI love my grandpa so much, he promised to help me anytime I secured admission into the university. While I was waiting to secure admission into the university, I learnt the electrical work. I told my father I wanted to rent a shop and he told me he had no money. He showed a portion of land to me, and asked me to put up a structure there, using raffia palms. I complained bitterly, but he drove me away and told me he had no plans for me. I decided to help myself, since I was aware that my family has a lot of land to sell. I betrayed my grandfather and I am begging for his forgiveness,â€ he lamented.
Abiodun happens to come from a royal family at Epe.
Describing himself as an influential politician and member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Abiodun got attracted when Dapo called him on phone to inform him that there was N12.6m for grabs in his grandfatherâ€™s house.
â€œI promised to help him out, since I knew many thugs, especially, those who were in my payroll during the election period. I invited Ayinde, who promised to recruit others that would execute the robbery operation. Initially, I refused to go with them, but Ayinde insisted that since I knew the house very well, I should be the one to lead them. I wore a mask.â€
Corroborating what Dapo said earlier, Abiodun said: â€œWhen we got to the house, Dapoâ€™s grandfather told us there was no money. He lied to us that he was given cheques. I called Dapo and he asked us to torture his grandfather a little, saying he was pretending.â€
At the end of the robbery operation, he was given N300,000, and asked to give Dapo N10,000. â€œIt was the carelessness of some of the boys, who joined us to carryout the operation who landed us in trouble. I was only having fun because, I do not have any reason to steal. I am from a very rich family, I have a shop and even have a car at my age,â€ he said.
Ayinde explained that they had to torture the grandfather and Dapoâ€™s brother for failing to co-operate with them.
â€œ If armed robbers visit me today, I would gladly surrender all to them,â€ he said.
On their source of guns, Ayinde said: â€œWe got them during the election. You know that election is all about power and democracy, you can only achieve that through force.â€
By CHIOMA IGBOKWE