A private in the Nigerian Army, Daniel Okeke, who is allegedly notorious for snatching of motorcycles and armed robbery around Ojo axis has been arrested by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State police command.
The suspect, who is attached to the Nigerian Army Corp of Supply and Transport in Bonny Camp, Victoria Island, was arrested after an attempt to snatch a motorbike with a pistol at the Agboju area of Lagos.
Preliminary investigations revealed that Okeke, who also confessed to be a member of the Black Axe Confraternity, had been demoted in 2017 from a Corporal to a Private Army following his recklessness while on duty.
However, the suspect, who spoke with newsmen yesterday at the police command headquarters in Ikeja denied being involved in armed robbery, saying he only had a misunderstanding with a motorcyclist, where he narrowly escaped lynching.
On how he found himself in police net, Okeke said: “I drive trucks at a site where the army is building houses for its men. At the close of work, I took a bike from Mile 2 to Ojo Barrack. The cyclist and I had agreed on a fare of N300 to my destination. On getting to Agboju, the bike man stopped and said he wanted to carry another person. I protested saying the agreement was to take me from Mile 2 to Ojo Barrack for N300 not for him to stop halfway to carry another person.
“I insisted that if he would have to carry another person, then I will stop at Agboju and not go further with him. At this point, he started fighting me. The cyclist insisted l give him N150, which I objected because l had only N300 on me which is supposed to take me to Ojo Barracks.
“He started shouting at me and was even fighting me. He was speaking in Hausa language, so every other cyclist who was from his place didnt bother to find out what the matter was but just joined him to beat me up.
“Seeing my life was in danger, I ran towards Agboju police station for safety. A policeman came to my rescue and took me inside the station and asked the cyclists to go. The police found a pistol on me, so I was detained at the station till the next day. The police then transferred me to SARS in Ikeja saying l had attempted to snatch a motorbike."
Speaking on how he got the gun in his possession, Okeke said he bought it in 2006 as a cult member at the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu. He claimed he bought the gun for N5,000.
“I had the gun before I joined the army. I bought the gun while in School at IMT in Enugu where I was studying Public Administration but I didn't graduate due to financial difficulty. Back then I was a member of the Black Axe Confraternity but I have since renounced it before joining the Nigerian Army in 2008.
“When I joined the army, I buried the pistol in my house. I was only using the gun to protect myself. I have never robbed with my pistol, I only used it for self-defense and I really regret my action," he said. Responding to the reason for his demotion, Okeke said he was demoted because he was involved in an accident with the vehicle driven by General Mohammed Ali (rtd).