Seyi Olatunji cannot give his exact age. At a time he would say he was 12 years old; at another time, he would call himself a 15-year-old. It was evident that he had had no formal education since he was born. This he confirmed.
But one thing that he could talk on without mincing words was his foray into the crime world as a young boy and how he had enjoyed his gang’s escapades until his arrest.
The Ogun State Police Command arrested the kid suspect recently at Ifo two months after law enforcement agents had been on the trail of his gang which had been terrorising the residents of Orile-Ifo community. Seyi’s gang’s last operation reportedly took place at Orile Ifo on February 4. Other suspected gang members mentioned by Seyi but who are still on the run include Samson, Kunle, Azeez a.k.a. Ogede and Ganiyu Adekunle a.k.a. Igi Ewedu. Adekunle was said to have brought others who joined the gang for robbery but did not follow them for the operation.
After his arrest, Crime Reports learnt that the suspect had been transferred to the Anti-Robbery section of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Eleweran, Abeokuta for further investigation.
In an interview with Crime Reports, Olatunji disclosed that he was being adequately taken care of by his mother, stepfather and biological father but was always drawn to the streets by his friends, whose company he enjoyed. He stated further that his stepfather, who is a bricklayer, also encouraged him to learn bricklaying as a vocation but he did not just have the patience to remain at the job.
According to him, “my parents are separated and my mother has remarried.She lives at Itori while father lives at Ifo in Ogun State. I sometimes lived with my stepfather but I also stayed with my father at Ifo. I also used to stay outside my parents’ homes because I prefer to be with my friends.
“They (my friends) used to invite me to robbery operations. My role was ususally to be on the watchout so that I would alert others in case of any danger. I am member of the community so I know all the nooks and the crannies.We used to go houses and shops at Ifo communities late in the night. We used to go with two guns usually held by Samson and Kunle. Both of them are currently on the run. We are usually about six that usually go for the operation. I am the youngest of them all. I have been with them for quite some time but I can’t recollect the exact duration.
“I have been on operation with the gang three times and I was given N2,000 each time. The first one was when they went to Alhaja and collected a plastic containing cash she made from sales on the fateful day, her phone and bag. Initially, she did not want to release the plastic, so they struggled with her.
As she was shouting, someone came and tried to rescue her. So one of the gang members shot him in the leg. The following day, Alhaja cried to my father’s house that she was robbed the previous night. But I pretended as if I didn’t know anything. Another time, we went to one woman who rears and sells chickens. The third time, we did not meet our target, because she closed from her shop early on that day.”
On how he was arrested, Olatunji said it was a nightguards who apprehended him where he slept. “I confessed to them that I was involved in robbery with my friends but they could not get others, because I did not know their residences. We used to meet at Igunnuko arena at Ifo on Fridays,”he said.
However, the police image maker in Ogun State, Muyiwa Adejobi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said that the suspect would be charged to the approriate court with consideration for his age.