The mastermind of the robbery attack on Mr. Wilson Onazi, father of Super Eagles’ player, Ogienyi Onazi, at his Jos, Plateau State, home, Monday, is a family friend of the family, it was learnt on Thursday.
He was identified as Kingsley David, a graduate of Psychology from the University of Jos. Two other suspects were also graduates of different higher institutions, while the rest were businessmen in Plateau and Lagos states.
The robbers who beat up Mr. Wilson, made away with his Toyota Highlander SUV and other valuables.
Members of the five-man robbery gang were arrested at a hotel in Imoda, Ajagbandi area of Lagos, where they were trying to sell off the SUV.
David, who owns a popular boutique in Jos, was paraded before journalists at the command’s headquarters on Thursday.
He stated that the gang’s intention was to use the SUV to celebrate the just-concluded Eid el-Kabir, revealing also that the robbery operation was planned in less than one week.
His words: “I am a family friend of the Onazis and I live close to their house in Jos. I initiated the plan to attack him. The idea came up when I was discussing with my friends.
“We planned the attack in my shop and I showed them the house, with an agreement to share whatever we got from the operation equally.
“However, I did not go with them for the operation because I did not want to be noticed. I waited for them at the junction and came to Lagos with them. They did not go with guns because that was not part of the plan. They only went with a knife.
“When they went for the robbery, they told Onazi’s father they wanted to use the car and return it later. We just needed the car to have fun during the Sallah break.”
Another suspect, Ugochukwu Ebuka, 28, a Senior Secondary Certificate holder from Idemili, Anambra State, disclosed that the gang did not beat the victim as reported, adding that they only collected N5,000 from him including his ATM card, which they claimed they never made any withdrawal with.
Explaining how they stormed the building, Ebuka, who also sells clothes in Plateau State, said: “Three us, Alliu, Joe and I went for the operation. When we got to the gate, we knocked and he opened.
“When we forced our ways in, he tried to resist us but we held him and took him aside. We also discovered that he was drunk and so did not beat him because he is an old man.
“When he discovered we were robbers, he begged us not to harm him and that we should collect whatever we wanted. When we demanded for money, he said he had no money with him and gave us just N5,000 cash.
“We took his car because we wanted to use it to escape. We drove straight to where we promised him we would keep it. But on reaching the place, we called Feringanda. We thought keeping it there would implicate us and Joe suggested we take it to Lagos, since he knew those who would buy it.
“We went there to get money and not the car because we were told that he lived alone, and neither assist anyone nor like people coming close to him. He is also stingy.”
While parading the suspects, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Fatai Owoseni, said four of the suspects were involved in the operation, while two others were accomplices who intended to buy the stolen SUV with number plates GMU 300 AA.
He said the arrested suspects would be handed over to the Plateau State Police Command alongside the exhibits to conclude investigation and subse-quently charge them to court.