A pregnant robbery accused, Alhaja Sherifat Ashabi Adeleke, has given birth to a baby boy in prison in Lagos, southwest Nigeria. Sherifat was arrested recently by the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Lagos Police Command, for her alleged roles in trans-border armed robbery operations.
The 35-year old suspect whose gang members usually operate from Cotonou, Republic of Benin, delivered her 3.7 kilogram baby at the police clinic recently.
The paraga (local herb laced with alcohol) seller who was arraigned with other members of her gang at the Ikeja Chief Magistrate’s Court, Lagos, is now at the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison Clinic with her new baby. A prison source told our reporter that the mother and her child are doing very fine at the clinic where she’s currently receiving post-natal care.
Sherifat was arrested along with three other members of the gang, Mathew Ineke, Samsudeen Giwa and Gbenga Oyedele.
It was alleged that apart from robbing people of cash and other valuable items, the gang also snatch posh vehicles, especially Toyota and Honda brands in Lagos and other neighbouring southwestern states and ferry them across the border for sale.
The suspects were subsequently arraigned in court for armed robbery, possession of firearms, conspiracy among others.
Sherifat, the mother of four children including a twin and a 16-year old daughter from her first marriage, was said to have admitted participating in two robbery operations with the gang before their arrest.
She alleged that it was her new husband, Gbenga Oduoye, who introduced her to armed robbery, adding that he impregnated her and the new baby was his.
In her statement to the police, she allegedly narrated how she joined the robbery gang: “It was last year that I joined the gang. We are a five-man gang. Godogbo is our leader and he has up to three other gangs that he also leads.
“I have participated in two armed robbery operations. The first one was at Ore town (Ondo State in southwest Nigeria), where they (their victims) were selling recharge cards.
I did not know how much recharge cards the gang snatched but I was given cards worth N100,000. “The second operation was at Iyana-Ilogbo, where the gang leader gave four of us N20,000 to share and I got N5,000 only.”
She allegedly confessed to have been the one responsible for supplying arms and ammunition to members of her robbery gang.
Speaking further on her role in the operations she had participated in, she said: “I sell paraga and I am patronised mostly by bus drivers, conductors and touts. I usually supply locally made guns to the gang. I used to collect the guns from Alhaji Gani in Benin Republic.
“I hide the short guns in my hand bag to beat security anytime I am taking them to where my gang leader picks them up at Iyana-Ilogbo in Ogun State.
“My role when we want to rob or attack shops is that I will first go to a shop and pretend as if I want to buy something and as the shop keeper is trying to sell something to me, my gang members will strike and order the shop keeper at gun point to surrender all the money from the day’s sales.”