A 27-year-old man who used monkeys and snakes to carry out numerous robbery attacks on unsuspecting victims has been arrested by the operatives of the Lagos State police command.
Mohammed Nafiu is currently cooling off in police custody with one of the monkeys which was also arrested.
Nafiu and his partner in crime, Nura told the police that they began using the bizarre strategy some years ago because the sight of the animals easily got people scared and made the robbery easier.
He said, “We trained the animals to obey our instructions. On a single command, the animals attack whoever we want to rob and we are able to take whatever valuable they have on them, especially money.”
Nafiu, who is married with three children, was a farmer and native drug vendor but decided to relocate to Lagos about 10 years ago after he learnt that there were many people who speak and understand his language.
He said, “I learnt there were many Hausa people in Lagos, so I decided to come with my monkey which I had been using for monkey shows in Kano.”
A police source said on the day Nafiu was arrested, he and his accomplice had two monkeys in their Nissan Primera and were trailing a man who had just come out of a popular bank in Ogba area of the state. The man was said to be holding a nylon bag containing money.
The two miscreants attacked a man and robbed him of N230, 000 after releasing two of their monkeys on him.
Nafiu said, “When we attacked the man, he was overcome with fear, so we collected the money from him. As we were about leaving, having realised what was happening, people started throwing stones and several objects at us. Nobody could move near because they were also afraid of the monkey. Only Nura could escape. When the stoning became too severe, I could not escape and eventually, police came and arrested me and my monkey.”
“I had to endure the attack because of this. I felt safer in the hands of the police than being stoned to death right there,” he added.
His cohort who is currently at large escaped while the victim engaged him in a hot chase before he threw part of the money at him in order to keep him busy picking them so he could escape as well.
He admitted to have made a lot of cash from his strategy even though the last operation was the highest amount he he ever made,adding that he would turn a new leaf if the police frees him.
A police source disclosed that another person had reported Nafiu and Nura to the force alleging that they once attacked him with a “big” snake and dispossessed him of some money.
The source said, “Nafiu admitted that they had two snakes and two baboons, which they used to scare and harass their victims. One of the monkeys has been arrested and we are still trailing the other suspect and the other animals.”
Meanwhile, there has not been an official confirmation of the incident by the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu.