They all wore mournful looks in the line-up, but no one would have readily known that three of the armed robbery suspects being paraded by the police that day used to be policemen.
Emmanuel Audu, James Momoh, Sunday Onuh and two former policemen; Sgt.Ochigbo Gabriel and Sgt. Francis Onuh hung their heads, trying their best to show remorse.
The former policemen among the suspects had been dismissed from the force for different offences. They later took up the tools of armed robbery.
Audu, 33, said he joined the Nigeria Police in 2003 but was dismissed as a constable in 2009 over his involvement in some illegal activities in Warri, Delta State.
Audu told journalists that after he lost his job, he relocated to Lagos and became a dispatch rider until December last year when he was looking for a job and met Peter Owocho, another member of the gang who introduced him to the gang.
He said he partook in all the operations carried out by the gang, and that he used his share of their loot to care for his family and pay his children’s school fees.
“I live at Ikorodu with my family. I took part in all the operations, but I was arrested on June 7, 2016 by the police,” he said.
A police officer told journalists that before members of the gang were arrested by operatives of the Inspector-General Police Special Intelligence Response Team, the suspects specialised in robbing Chinese nationals in different parts of Lagos.
The officer said before they met their waterloo during operation at the homes of 4 Chinese nationals in Gbagada, they had carried out no fewer than 10 robberies between December 2015 and June 2016.
The officer said, “The dismissed policemen normally gain access into the homes of the Chinese men under the pretence of conducting routine checks, or that they had information that they (the Chinese) were involved in drugs and currency counterfeiting.
“When they are allowed into their homes, the dismissed policemen would ransack the apartments and cart away all valuables including cash and electronic gadgets.”
As the suspects, who all hailed from Benue state reeled out their confessions, it left no doubt that they were a gang of notorious robbers.
Individually, they said bad association and their inability to get good jobs led them into the crime.
“Getting myself involved in crime is a disgrace to my family,” one of them admitted.
Police said the suspects would be charged to court as soon as the investigation was complete.