An armed robbery suspect, 45 year old Jide Abass (pictured right) who was arrested alongside his accomplice (Lukmon Bello) while they were attempting to rob outside a bank in Ogun state on Monday May 11th, said during his interrogation by the Ogun state police command, that the cashless policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria has affected the operations of armed robbers in Nigeria.
According to him, people do not move around with large sums of money anymore as they now go about paying for things with their debit cards.
"We usually laid ambush for bank customers, especially those who had gone to withdraw money. It is not difficult to notice them. For the men, it is either their pockets would be bulging or they would come out with the usual black nylon. For customers who came in their vehicles, we would either ambush them or trail them to safer places where we would collect the withdrawn amount. But since the introduction of cashless policy, people don’t usually got out with cash. Even when they go to eateries or super markets, they make use of POS and this has been affecting our operations.
We started operating in Ikorodu, Lagos State but since the police seem to have braced up to the challenge, we decided to relocate to Ogun State. This is our fourth operation here. I am ashamed of myself because my two wives may likely divorce me if they find out their husband is a robber,” he said.
His other partner, Lukman said he was a clothier before he resorted to armed robbery due to his inability to fend for his two wives and children
"I was initially into international trade. I usually travelled to Dubai to buy men’s clothes to sell until the trade crumbled. I had also travelled to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, twice, to perform Holy Pilgrimage.
While the going was good, I got married to two wives. But along the line, my business crumbled and I started driving commercial bus. At a point, I could barely feed my family. In the process, I met Jide Abass, who introduced me to robbery. On that fateful day, we left Ikorodu where we live, to Abeouta to operate. It was Jide who suggested we went far to operate to avoid being recognised during operation. We trailed this particular man to Oke-Ilewo. We saw him counting some money and kept some in the safe of his car. We did not know he would not stay long inside the office he entered. We were busy ransacking his vehicle for the money he left and never noticed him coming out until he was close. As we attempted to enter our car and flee he pulled out a pistol and shot me in the thigh. I managed to hop into my Mercedez benz car which was used for the operation and sped off towards Ibara Housing en-route Kuto (Abeokuta)/Isiun Expressway. But I became unconscious as a result of loss of blood and in the process ran into an oncoming vehicle on reaching the Ogun State NUT Conference Hall junction, close to MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta. Some good Samaritans who did not know what actually happened came to our rescue and rushed us to the Federal Medical Centre,FMC, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, for treatment. But to our surprise, the man who shot me located us and arrested us. It was after we were arrested that we discovered that he was a policeman. My wives and children are not aware I have been arrested. Greed lured me into this”. he said
Source : Vanguard