Inability to pay my SSCE fee forced me into robbery – Suspect

27-year-old suspected armed robber has blamed his criminal activities on the failure of his parents and relatives to raise money for him to pay the fee for his Senior Secondary Certificate Examination.

The suspect, Collins Archibong, was arrested alongside his accomplice, Daniel John Igwe, 23.

Both suspects were arrested by operatives of the State Intelligence Bureau, while a third member of the gang, simply identified as Bassy, is still at large.

According to a police source, the notorious gang had been behind serial armed robbery attacks and murders perpetrated in several parts of Lagos.

Speaking to our correspondent, an operative of the SIB, who preferred not to be identified, said the suspects had carried out “a lot of robbery attacks” in the state, adding that the group specialised in robbing high profile companies, where they stole computer systems.

He noted that, during one of their operations, the suspects attacked a company (name withheld) and stole new laptops that were delivered to the firm, stressing that the security officer, Abubakar Isiaka, attached to the company, was also killed in the process.

“Recently, the suspects invaded a company to steal new laptops that were delivered and shot the security man on duty, one Abubakar Isiaka, who challenged them before they gained access to where the laptops were kept,” the SIB personnel said.

In his confessions, Archibong, who admitted perpetrating several robbery and murders, said he was forced into the criminal activities because he could not pay for his terminal examination fee at the secondary school level. 

Achibong said, “I joined the gang, when I could not write my Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination due to hardship; nobody was there to help me. My friends told me I could raise money for myself, but I did not know that they were into robbery. They told me they had a business to execute; so I joined them.

“We have carried out a lot of robbery and killings in Lagos. We specialise in robbing companies at night, where we steal laptops, which we sell.”

Also speaking, his accomplice, Daniel, a trained artisan, confessed that he was idle after his apprenticeship, saying that there was nobody to assist him to set up a workshop in order to start up his business.

“When I finished learning work as a mechanic, I was idle because I needed to buy tools and get a shop, where I could be working. But there was nobody to assist me to buy my mechanical tools. And since then, I have joined the group and found myself in crime,” he said.

Recounting how the suspects were arrested, the SIB officer said, “The suspects, after killing the security man at the company, took away his mobile phone. We tracked them with the phone.

“The company petitioned the Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, who directed the SIB unit to fish out the suspects.

“The SIB successfully carried out the investigation by tracking the gang leader with the security
man’s phone.

“He confessed to the crime and led detectives to his gang member, who he gave the phone to.”