The members of the public who witnessed the parade of criminals and other notorious armed robbery suspects at the Police command headquarters, in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Thursday, were left in shock when a man confessed that the families of his wife pushed him into armed robbery.
According to Vanguard, the 34-year-old vegetable seller identified as Chukuma Okoro, explained that the family of his wife were requesting for N300,000 as dowry before he would have total access to their daughter. He said that as a vegetables seller, the only option left for him was to look for a short cut because he loves the lady and wants her at all cost.
Okoro who confessed that his efforts to satisfy his wife and her family pushed him to robbery said; "I wanted to pay my wife's dowry but I do not have the N300,000 demanded by her family.
"It is my wife and her family that pushed me into it, I have never stolen in my life, this is the first time. She ran away from my house three weeks ago and has been begging me that she wants to come back.
"Since I love her so much and do not want her family to give her to another man that was why I started looking for money by all means to pay her dowry so that she could come back to my house.
"There is no way I can get that N300,000 to pay her dowry, that was why I tried to rob and this is the first time I will be doing it," he said, adding that his friends and neighbours made jest of him when his wife left for her parents house because of his inability to meet their demand on bride price.
Okoro said he was desperate to have her back and in a bid to shame his jesters, he opted for armed robbery which according to him was the easiest means of getting money in that circumstance.
It was gathered that on the day he was arrested, Okoro trailed a salesgirl of a beer distribution company located at Adegbola in the metropolis who was taking N550,000 proceeds of the day's sales to the bank. He was said to have trailed the salesgirl of the beer distribution company on Okada before attacking her.
While struggling with the salesgirl to collect the money, the suspect was pushed off the Okada and he fell after which he shot at the victim twice before he was overpowered and arrested by sympathisers.
Police source said that the salesgirl was fortunate that the pistol refused to release any of the five live bullets in it before sympathisers pounced on him and beat him black and blue.
When asked how he knew the salesgirl he robbed was taking that volume of money to the bank, Okoro said that he had an inside sources.
He said, "I got all the information I needed. I was told the amount to be taken to the bank, when the salesgirl would leave the office, the route she wouild take and the bank she was heading to.
"So I decided to engage an Okada rider for a fee and he parked where we were able to see the salesgirl when she left the office and as soon as it was safe I struggled to snatch the bag containing the money from her. But the girl was so brave that while I struggled to snatch the bag she pushed me off the Okada causing me and the Okada rider to fall.
"I brought out a pistol from my pocket and fired two shots but the gun refused to expel the bullets. The Okada man then fled the scene and I became helpless which made some youths and others around the area to overpower me and I was arrested."
Timely intervention of policemen reportedly saved Okoro from being burnt alive by some youths who had rushed to a nearby vulcanizer to get used tyres.
Parading the suspect, the state police command image maker, Femi Joseph, said that a pistol and five live carriages were found on Okoro when he was arrested. Joseph said, "Okoro attacked a sales girl who was going to the bank to deposit N500,000. As he was struggling to collect the money from her, the girl raised the alarm that attracted the passers by who arrested him."
The police spokesman said the suspect would soon be charged to court just as he assured.