Photo Of Teenage Boys Who Were ‘Forced’ To Become Armed Robbers In Cross River

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Teenage boys who were found out to be part of a robbery gang have made a startling confession about how they joined the deadly group.

The suspects
According to a report by Punch Metro, Isaac Obong and Daniel James, two 18-year-old boys, who were apprehended by the operatives of the Cross River State Police Command for their involvement in the robbery of a petrol station in Calabar, on Friday claimed that they were forced to join the robbery gang that carried out the raid.
The police had on June 9 arrested three suspected robbers after other members of the gang, still at large, robbed a filling station of N2m at gun point.
Parading the suspects, with 50 others who were arrested for various crimes, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Hafiz Inuwa, said his men swung into action after receiving distress call from one Joseph Attoh, that armed robbers had raided his filling station.
He said, “On June 9, one Joseph Ogar Attoh (male) of number 26 IBB Way, Calabar, alleged that a gang of armed men came to his filling station at Mayne Avenue by Weber Street in Calabar to rob him of the sum of N2m.
 
“Three suspects were later arrested. They are Isaac Obong, Daniel James and Ofonime Ukpong. In a bid to recover the money and other incriminating items, search warrants were executed in their premises. The suspects have confessed to the crime and will soon be arraigned in court.”
When Southern City News confronted the suspects, Ofonime Ukpong, who was among those arrested was said to be ill, but the other two teenage suspects alleged that they were forced into the robbery operation.
Obong said, “This is the first time I am going into big-time robbery. My parents are dead and I have been catering for myself all alone. We were recruited on the street to join in the operation.
 
“I was on my way back from work when they recruited me. I vulcanise tyres. We were not actually with guns, we were only asked to be on the watch out. We were c@ught while the other robbers with guns escaped. We were not given any money.”
James’ narration was not different, but he claimed that it was Obong who pointed him to the robbery gang.
“I lost my father some years ago and that was how I crashed out of secondary school. After dropping out, I am currently learning how to repair vehicle radiator. I had just returned from work on that fateful day and on getting home my mother said there was no food in the house.
“I went to my brother’s barbing shop to inform him of the situation at home but on my way back, this Isaac friend came with some people and they forced me to join them. They (the armed robbers) insisted that they would kill me if I do not join them. I had no option but to join them. This is my first robbery attempt and I was forced to join them.”

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