Ours is robbery with a human face, say robbers who rob with toy guns

Chidera Ekpundu, Tochukwu Nnamele and Uba Daniel were apprehended by the police on suspicion of being armed robbers. But while the trio agreed that they are robbers, they refused to be labelled as armed robbers. Why?
It was victory at last for operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Enugu State recently when they apprehended three notorious suspected armed robbers who had held the state by the jugular for a long time now. The suspects, Chidera Ekpundu, Tochukwu Nnamele and Uba Daniel were reportedly arrested after a tipoff.
Investigations revealed that they had carried out series of robbery cases in the metropolis and surrounding towns and villages and had been declared wanted by the state’s police command until their apprehension. They were arrested at Akpugo axis in Nkanu West area of the metropolis.
Ekpundu, Nnamele and Daniel, said to be the leader of the gang, however, operate differently from some of their partners-in-crime. They reportedly carried out their heinous crimes using toy guns to threaten their victims. It is reported that they carried out many successful operations using this method.
On the day of their arrest, they were found with 664 wraps of a substance suspected to be marijuana. When they were taken to their hideout, several items were reportedly found in their custody, suggesting that they had carried out several successful operations in the state.
In their statements before law enforcement agents, they confessed to being armed robbers, but claimed that they were not out to harm anyone in their operations, hence their use of toy guns. Daniel, the acclaimed gang leader, said, “We are just out to survive. We use toy gun because we don’t mean to harm anyone, but to get what we will eat.
We are a harmless gang of robbers and that is why we use toy guns.” Nnamele too confessed to robbing with arms. Saying that he was lured into the gang by Daniel, he said, “It is a fact that we are doing this business. This is the second time I will go out with the group and I was not initially told that we were going to be robbing people.
“What they told me was that we would just use the toy gun to raise some money to start a business, but once we went into it, we could not stop again.” Ekpundu corroborated Nnamele’s views and added that the marijuana seized from them was meant to be sold to raise money for their needs. He claimed that they have never killed anyone since they launched their assaults on the state. His words: “It is true that we use toy guns to operate.
The toy guns are not dangerous however as there is no single live bullet in them. I can say it was hunger that drove us into robbery.” Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, expressed happiness with the performance of his men over the capture of the wanted trio. He also lauded the cooperation of the people of the state, particularly for the successes recorded in the area of crime prevention since he assumed office. He however dismissed the excuses of the suspects, saying a robber is a robber.
According to him, using toy guns to scare people and dispossess them of their valuables is as grievous as using a real gun. He also enjoined residents of the state to intimate police authorities once they noticed strange movement of people in their domains. Enugu State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, said that the suspected robbers are cooperating with police in their investigations and would be arraigned in court upon the completion of the investigation.

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