''I was initiated into robbery in a mosque'' - 13-year-old suspect says

The Lagos state police command yesterday paraded a 13-year-old boy simply identified as Ajayi who told journalists that he was introduced into robbery in a mosque where he was sleeping in the Jakande area of the state.

Ajayi who was paraded alongside his accomplice, Balogun (13), said he started living in the mosque after his father divorced his mother and married another woman.

Immediately after his father remarried, he took him to the mosque and abandoned him there. Without any money to feed, Ajayi said he had no other option but to start stealing after he was initiated by some persons he met in the mosque.

''After a while, the management of the mosque sent every one of us sleeping in the mosque out. The leaders of the mosque said we constituted nuisance. After that my father took me to his workshop where he sew clothes and asked me to be sleeping in the shop, instead of taking me home. It was in my father’s shop where I was sleeping that I met my accomplice and we became friends. He then told me that his elder brother needed a laptop. He said if I come across someone who wanted to sell I should contact him.

“One fateful day, I was walking on a street at Jakande Estate when I saw an empty Disc Jockey (DJ) shop opened. I went straight into the shop, picked the laptop and went away. Thereafter, I called my friend that I have a laptop for his brother. After I had stolen the laptop, I took it to my friend’s elder brother and I told him I was selling it for N10,000 but he said he could only afford N3,000. Because I was hungry, I agreed to the price. He gave me N2,000 and asked me to come later for N1,000.

It was because my stepmother said she did not want to see me that led me into robbery. I regret my action. I was later arrested by the police on the street when I was going to buy food I wanted to eat on Tuesday last week about 8p.m.”

On his own, Balogun said he became friends with Ajayi in school and they also lived on the same street at Jakande area.

“When he brought the laptop to me, I asked him where he got it from. He told me he stole it; I asked him to return it to where he picked it from that I didn’t want to see the laptop. Instead of returning the laptop to where he stole it from, he went to sell it to another person. I was going on an errand when police arrested.”

Also arrested by the police was 27 year old Babatunde Adejagun who bought the laptop. When interrogated, Babatunde said that one of his friend, Lawal Wasiu, who introduced the boy to him.

“It was where they were fixing phone at a shopping complex at Jakande that they approached my friend that they had a laptop they wanted to sell. My friend then brought them to me. When they brought it to me, they said it was their brother who is a DJ that owned it but he asked them to sell. It was then I decided to buy it from them. They told me initially that they were selling it for N8,000 but I told them I could only afford N3,000. They agreed and I gave them N2,000. I told them to come back for the balance of N1,000.” he said

The state Commissioner of Police, CSP Edgal Imohimi who paraded the suspects before newsmen, said all the suspects would be arraigned in court after investigation has been concluded.
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