FORTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD Richard Macaulay Obafemi, will have a long time to
rue over the day his life took a wrong turn that led him into armed
robbery and car-snatching as has been alleged by the police.
he descended into the new career, Obafemi was a medical doctor, who
according to his account, had his primary and secondary school education
at Ipaja, Lagos State before proceeding to the University College
London, UCL, where he obtained a degree in Microbiology in 1987 and
later studied medicine at UCL, from 1987-1992. In 1993, he did the
housemanship in Hatsfield, London. In 1996, Obafemi came to Nigeria for
the National Youth Service Corps Scheme and was posted to Kwara State.
At the end of the service year, Obafemi took up appointment with the
College of Medicine, University of Benin, where he worked for two years
from 1998 to 2000, before travelling to Saudi Arabia.
at the Royal Medical Centre, Jeddah, for four years. Subsequently, I got
another employment offer from the University of Ghana, in 2006 and
worked there till 2015.”
Continuing the tale, Obafemi who hails
from Sagamu Local Government Area, Ogun State said: “In 2015, I came to
Nigeria and visited Kaduna State. During that trip, a car I was driving
had an accident and the victim died. I was charged to court and
remanded at Kaduna Central Prison. But I was later released from prison
on April 8, 2016.
While in prison, Obafemi met and developed
friendship with Stephen and Ifeanyi, who were also awaiting trial. After
he was released, Obafemi linked up with Stephen and Ifeanyi who had
also regained freedom. Within a short time, they convinced him to join
their armed robbery and car-snatching gang.
“After I left
prison, I had followed Ifeanyi to Asaba and joined their gang, which
specialized in snatching cars. We have stolen cars like Lexus, SUV in
Lagos State, which I drove to Katsina State to sell to buyers from Niger
Republic. I sold one for N450,000,” Obafemi said.
why he did not return to Ghana after being released from prison, Obafemi
told Sunday Sun reporter: “I didn’t go back to University of Ghana
because when I was in prison in Kaduna, I didn’t communicate with them.
I came out from prison, I found out that there was no going back. I
decided to join the armed robbery gang to earn a living. I am married
and blessed with three children. I lost my wife, Mary in 2012 while my
three children are in Canada.”
A popular Nigerian parlance says,
“many days for the thief, one day for the owner of the house.” Again,
the Good Book teaches that when the cup of iniquity fills up, it spills
over. For Obafemi and his alleged comrades in crime, the day of
reckoning arrived when an alleged member of the gang, Valentine (surname
withheld) was arrested in Onitsha by operatives of the Special Armed
Robbery Squad of the Anambra Police Command and he spilled the beans,
revealing the involvement of Obafemi in their activities who was at the
time in a hotel (name withheld) in Onitsha, and explained that he had
been there for four days waiting for the gang to bring cars he was to
drive to Katsina and onwards to Niger Republic.
Armed with this
information, Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hosea Karma told
Sunday Sun reporter that SARS operatives stormed the hotel on May 17,
2016 and arrested Obafemi. The head of SARS, Supol Ben Abang further
informed Sunday Sun that the gang had for long been a terror to owners
of SUVs, noting that the gang operated mainly along the Awka-Enugu
After a series of successful car-snatching
escapades, members of the gang would disappear from the town and go to
Lagos to cool off, while waiting for the stolen cars to be sold before
returning for more operations. It was during the last operation of the
gang that Valentine was arrested.
When he spoke, Valentine confessed that the gang had been involved in
several robbery operations in Asaba, Delta State and Anambra State. On