In a series of shocking revelations, an armed robbery suspect, Chris Oboko, a corporal attached to the C4I unit of the Nigeria Police in Rivers State, has told investigators how an informant “lured” him into a gang of car snatchers.
Thirty five-year-old Oboko, who has now been dismissed from the force, was recently arrested in Port Harcourt, during a mop-up of criminal elements responsible for incessant robberies and carjacking in the state by the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team.
For him, the lure of armed robbery loot was something he could not simply resist.
According to him, the turning point for him was when he encountered two members of a robbery and kidnapping gang, who were in the process of selling the cars they got from one of their victims.
Investigators in the case said Oboko’s arrest seems to validate the shade of opinion that ‘bad eggs’ in the force are responsible for the bad conduct of some policemen.
Oboko, who joined the force in 2003 said he was living at the police barracks on Iche Street, Borokiri, Port Harcourt, while ‘moonlighting’ as a robber.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that he first served at the Boroki Police Division, before being transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. He told journalists that he became a member of the C4I unit after that.
But in 2015, Oboko decided to join the ranks of the men of the underworld whom he had sworn to protect the society against.
He said in his statement, “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.”
Oboko, who chronicled his crime spree with the gang, admitted that he led three other members of the gang to snatch a Toyota Camry at D-line area of Port Harcourt few months ago, which his gang sold for N200,000. Out of the proceeds, he said he got N70,000.
The suspect said on their second operation, three of them stole three Toyota Camry cars from the D-line motor park in Port Harcourt in a single day.
He 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.”
Through the confessions of other members of the gang, Saturday PUNCH learnt that Oboko was also the armourer of his gang. Apart from that, he allegedly used his police identity to give the members of the gang safe passage anytime they stole or snatched a vehicle.