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Hummer Cruising Dismissed Police Sergeant Rearrested For Robbery While On Bail

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Hummer Cruising Dismissed Police Sergeant Rearrested For Robbery While On Bail

They say ‘since the bird has learnt to fly without perching, the hunter has also learned to shoot without aiming.’ If Eboma Onyeka, a sergeant with the Nigeria Mobile Police Squadron 20, Ikeja, before his dismissal on armed robbery and murder charges in 2011, had any inkling of the resolve of the Lagos Police command to reduce crime to the barest minimum, he’d stay away from the state.

However, Onyeka is once again a guest of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Lagos, months after securing his bail. He is said to have allegedly been involved in a series of bank ATM robberies since his bail from Kirikiri Prisons in December 2011.

But Onyeka has vehemently denied his involvement in any bank robbery attacks and he was quick to give a recital of his activities since his bail from prison.

“After I got my bail, I left Lagos for my village in Delta State. I stayed there for about two, three months because I was ill and needed to recover. When I was fully recovered, l went to Benin City and met a friend whom I pleaded with for assistance. My friend gave me an Audi car to use as a taxi, so I could earn a living. I also underwent a 10-week course in producing insecticides and fruit juices.

“Upon the completion of my course, I returned to Lagos because I needed to start a business of my own. Since there was no place for me to go, I called a friend of mine who is a serving police inspector and he asked me to see him. My wife had returned to her family with my children after I got into prison, so I had no home in Lagos. All this happened in August 2012. It was the very day that I arrived Lagos that I was arrested by SARS operatives. I still had my toiletries on me,” Onyeka said.

However, the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr. Umar Manko, would have none of it. He attributed the high spate of bank ATM robberies in Lagos metropolis to Onyeka. He said, “In the months following Onyeka’s bail from prison custody, we started getting reports of bank ATM robberies nearly every weekend. Prior to his arrest last year, there were only two gangs responsible for bank ATM robberies in Lagos: Onyeka’s and another gang. As at the time he went to prison custody, the ATM robberies had reduced to the barest minimum.

“So when reports of ATM robberies began to come in, we decided to check with the prison to confirm if Onyeka was still in their custody but he wasn’t. We began investigations and we were able to obtain his number. Through his phone number, we were able to track his movements until he got to Lagos and thereafter we rearrested him. His gang was responsible for the recent robbery of a new generation bank where a police corporal lost his life.

“At the time of his arrest, Onyeka had in his possession a fake identity card which portrayed him as a serving member of the Mobile Police Force. When SARS operatives stormed the hotel where he was meeting with a friend, Onyeka had flashed his card to the team, not knowing that he was the target of the raid.”

Onyeka, who prior to his arrest in July 2011, had just completed a training course for inspectors and was awaiting promotion to same rank, was alleged by other published reports, to have been driving in a Hummer Jeep, supposedly owned by him when he was arrested around 1.30 am on July 26, 2011.

The 41-year-old Onyeka who had served the Nigeria Police Force for 19 years before his dismissal , was alleged to have in his possession at the time of arrest, an AK 47 rifle and a big bag containing a face mask and other suspicious items.

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