– An armed robbery suspect, Chris Oboko, who is at the same a police officer attached to the C4I unit of the Nigeria Police in Rivers state has made various shocking confessions during interrogation
– The anti-robbery policeman told investigators there was an informant who “lured” him into a gang of car snatchers
Oboko, who is 35 years old, has now been dismissed from the Nigerian Police Force with immediate effect.
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The police officer turned armed robber was recently apprehended at Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital, when the police carried out a mop-up operation on criminal elements involved in constant robberies and car snatching in the South-south state.
The operation was carried out by the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team.
The police officer who turns into armed robber at night is seen at the left hand side of the photo
The anti-robbery policeman, who became a criminal, said the attraction from the armed robbery loot was too much for him to simply resist.
Oboko said the changing period for him was when he came up with two members of a robbery and kidnapping gang, who were in the process of selling the cars they stole from one of their victims.
The police turn robber is an example of those painting the name of the police in black, as his arrest seems to validate the belief that ‘bad eggs’ in the force are responsible for the bad conduct of many police officers.
The 35 year old suspected armed robber enlisted in the force in 2003, while saying he resided at the police barracks on Iche Street, Borokiri, Port Harcourt, but ‘moonlighting’ as a robber.
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In a statement from Oboko, he said:
“In 2015, I met Johnpaul Amandi, one of our informants when he took two vehicles he stole from one of his kidnapping victims to one Victor Nwogu to sell. I met them while they were negotiating the price and I told them I would join their operation.
“After I became a member, I always found a way to get the members of the gang released whenever they were arrested by the police. I am even the resident Pastor of Battle Axe Assembly Church at Chuba Allo in Port Harcourt. I know this business is evil and shouldn’t have joined but I could not resist the temptation.”
While further speaking about how the gang carried out its operation involving stealing a Toyota vehicle, and his own second operation as gathered by The Punch, the moonlight robber said: “Victor Nwogu in Owerri is the one that helped sell off the vehicles. He gave us N360, 000 after selling the cars and I got N150, 000 as my share. I remember that we also snatched a Toyota Corolla from Elelanwo area of Port Harcourt.
“I pointed a gun at the driver and he ran out of his vehicle. We sold that one for N250,000 out of which I got a share of N80,000. There was a Toyota Spider we also snatched at gunpoint around GRA in Port Harcourt. We hid it somewhere at Borokiri Sand Field. But before we arrived there in the morning, the car had been removed.”
After Oboko finished his narrations, an unnamed source said: “Apart from this, each time they snatched or stole a vehicle, the suspect would alter the vehicle engine and chassis numbers before transporting it to the buyer.”
Oboko’s arrest was possible, as one Amandi, who was earlier apprehended before him, gave some details about the robber-police.
Amandi, 27 years, hails from Bayelsa state. He stated that he used to be a public bus driver before he joined the armed robbery gang, who were skilled in car snatching.
He said his gang was so good at snatching and stealing cars that on one single night, his second operation after joining the robbery gang, they got five cars.
While Amandi made his confessions and also how he met Oboko, he said:
“Two friends of mine kidnapped a former local government chairman in Bayelsa State and brought two cars taken from the man to me to sell in Port Harcourt. When I was checking the cars in Nembe Waterside, Corporal Oboko and one of his colleagues confronted us and took the cars away from us. Instead of taking the vehicles to their station, they made it theirs.
“Three months after that, he saw me on the road and asked me to forgive him and said that he would like me to work with him. He took me to his boss at C4I and he told him that I was highly resourceful and I could become an informant giving the police information about armed robbers in the state.
“His boss told me that if I could assist with information, I would be rewarded well and I accepted. I even gave them information that led to the arrest of big armed robbers in Port Harcourt from whom they recovered arms and ammunition.
“After one month of being an informant, Corporal Oboko said one of the cars he took from me was giving him trouble and he needed another car. He said he needed a brand new car. I told him that I had stopped stealing cars since I had started working with the car snatching gang, but he insisted. He then said I should not worry and said that he would follow me to wherever I wanted to steal the car.
“On our first outing together, we stole a Honda ‘End of Discussion’. He gave his father the first car and started using the new one. He then encouraged that we should go for more robberies because he had seen how easy the first operation was. He also arranged with Victor in Owerri, who received and sold the vehicles for us.
“I thought Corporal Oboko was joking but few days after, he brought two pistols to me. He said he bought the guns. We snatched many cars around Port Harcourt, but even though we used to share the proceeds equally in the past, it got to a time that he started to cheat me.
“He would sometimes refuse to give me my own share and sometimes, he would not involve me in an operation. He started bypassing me to work with other boys I introduced to him. Not long after that, I was arrested and told the police about him.”
There are strange things happening in the country as men who are hardened criminals disguise as law abiding citizens. About two weeks ago, a suspected bank robber gave a stunning revelation during interrogation after the police apprehended him. He stated that the Bayelsa state governor, Seriake Dickson appointed him as special adviser on oil and gas matters before he was arrested .