Twenty-six-year-old Victoria Momidu, is a lady, one could described as a shy person at first glance. But as she stood along with her partner in crime behind the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State Command, Ikeja, one could best imagine how calm but deadly she could be while operating alongside her robbery gang.
“I was hustling before I met Okokawon, who is my boyfriend. He told me to join his gang,” Victoria said.
When she was asked to explain what she meant by hustling, she replied in one word “prostitution.”
Victoria and one other member of her gang were arrested recently by the men of Lagos State SARS, who had been on their trail after receiving a tip-off about the gang’s plan.
She and her gang had robbed some passengers along the Mile 2- Badagry Expressway. They operate from private cab, a police source alleged.
It all began some months ago, Victoria narrated. She said another member of the gang, Okolawon, (also in SARS custody) had approached her on the need for her to join the gang.
Victoria Momidu said she was once a prostitute but had to stop prostituting six months ago because she was not making enough money from the aged long profession.
“I ran away from my husband’s house in February, abandoning my three children in the process. I came to Lagos to hustle soon after I left my husband and children in Benin. It was a lady I met inside a commercial bus at Mile 2 Motor Park that introduced me to prostitution. She took me to where she was leaving in a hotel at Seme. I later joined other ladies in the act.
“I was making between N2000 and N3,000 per night anytime I have a customer, who will take me home for the night. This was what I was doing, until I met Okokawon. He came to the hotel where I was staying along with some friends to drink. He later asked me if I will spend the night with him,” she said.
The suspect further alleged that Okolawon came back three weeks later to take her out again, saying that they actually spent the whole day together.
She explained that it was at their third outing that Okolawon started picking passengers with his car, a thing which he had not done in her presence before.
“He picked up four passengers, who were going to Badagri, from Iyana Oba bus stop on that day. That was around 9p.m. Somewhere around Okoafon, he stopped, pretending as if the car had suddenly developed fault. It was a lonely stretch of road. Suddenly, another car stopped and the occupants of the car jumped out and I noticed that they were armed with dangerous weapons. They collected all cash and valuables that were in possession of the passengers,” she said.
Vick, as she is known by members of the gang, alleged that at first she was afraid, but that she later discovered that they were Okokawon’s armed robbery gang and that it was a planned attack.
“I was not given anything the first day out with the gang since it was my first experience. I discovered that I was only used to deceive passengers to board the car. The second time out I was given N10,000 after the operation. Outside cash, Okolawon goes with all phones collected from victims,” she said.
She further confessed that she eventually joined the gang after she discovered that she will make more money from the operation than prostituting.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Cornelius Kayode Aderanti, who confirmed the report, said that the suspect along with four others, were involved in series of armed robbery operations along the Mile 2 -Badagry Expressway.
The Lagos State police boss said that before their arrest, the suspects, who operate in two cars, a Mazda and a Honda Haller, had earlier robbed some traders and that one of the victims, who took down the vehicles’ numbers, had reported the attack at Ojo Police Station.
“The case was handed over to a female police inspector. While she was investigating the matter, she too fell victim to the gang. She was stripped Unclad before her cash and valuable was taken away by the gang led by Okolawon. It is a clear case of catch in the air,” he added.
He stated further that unfortunately for the gang, they were sighted by the female Police Inspector around Alaba Rago bus stop area on the Mile 2 -Badagry expressway.
‘She raised alarm that led to the arrest of one Isiaka Ahmed, 33. Other members of the gang fled, abandoning their operational vehicle. The case was transferred to SARS. It was through investigation that led police to a hotel at Seme, where Victoria Momud was arrested,” he added.
He explained that effort was ongoing to arrest the other members of the gang.