Policemen from Ojo Division in Lagos have rescued a commercial motorcyclist, (okada) from a man, who allegedly tried to snatch his motorcycle, and probably, kill him. The police are currently working on the theory that the suspect might be a ritualist and not just a robber, considering the spot, (near Obadore bridge, LASU-Iba Road), where he attempted to commit the alleged crime.
Many motorcyclists had been hacked down on the bridge by ritualists, who killed and removed private parts of the victims. The suspect, Jelili Olaiya, had hired the motorcyclist, Zira John at First Gate bus-stop, on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, to take him to Obadore on Thursday, March 24, 2011.
After they agreed on N1,000 fare John, who hails from Adamawa State, who didn’t know the direction to Igando, said he took off at about 8 pm. “When we got to Iyana Iba, he told me to take Iba Road. When I complained about the distance, he told me not to worry, and that we were almost at Igando,” he said.
He said at that point, Olaiya started appealing to him to bear with him and to continue the journey. Besides, he was said to have brought out his handset from his pocket and started making calls. They passed the first and second police checkpoints and were about getting to the dangerous and controversial Obadore bridge, when the suspect brought out a rope also from his pocket and put it round the victim’s neck.
But as the suspect tried to tighten the noose, the victim used his left hand to obstruct him from tightening the rope.
“As he was trying to tie the rope round my neck, he told me to slow down but I increased the speed, when I saw a torchlight in front of us,” he said. Luckily for the victim, it was the policemen, at the third checkpoint, who were flashing their torches. “The alarm raised by me aroused the curiosity of the policemen, who asked me to park my motorcycle. They interrogated two of us and brought us to the station,” he said.
But Olaiya, 23, who claimed to be a panel beater, denied being an armed robber or a killer. He said he was surprised when the motorcyclist raised the alarm which attracted the attention of policemen on patrol. “I told him to stop shouting. I didn’t mean any harm for him. I am a panel beater, returning from Festac after the day’s job. Police did not find any gun on me.”
On the phone calls he was alleged to have made before he tried to strangle John, from Ibadan, Oyo State, said he was calling those who were waiting for him at home.