‘I made more money from snatching cars than treating broken bones’ 25-year-old suspect says
A 25-year-old native doctor, Abudulahi Mudi, arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT) from his hideout in Lokoja, Kogi State, has confessed that he makes more money from snatching cars than what he makes from treating broken bones.
Mudi who was paraded alongside his accomplice, Christopher Ilia, a security guard attached to one of the headquarters of a ministry in Abuja, said he learnt the art of treating broken bones and treating pregnant women from his late father, but switched to snatching exotic cars so he can make fast money. He said himself and his team of four have stolen cars mostly in the Ikeja, Lekki and Surulere axis of Lagos state.
“I am a native doctor and I treat people of stroke, broken bones and other illnesses. My father who is now late thought me the art and I have been doing it for a long time in Lokoja, Kogi State. In 2012, one of my friends based in Lagos invited me, and when we met, he introduced me to car snatching. He said the business would fetch me more money than treating people. I accepted then because I was a native doctor and I knew I could prepare charms that would prevent us from being arrested.
“My friend then taught me how to drive after which we started removing people’s cars from parks. My friend had a master key we were using, and at night we will go to any crowded bar and night clubs where cars are parked by the road side. My friend would open two cars of his choice and we will both drive them out and take them to our buyer who is based in Lokoja.
“We stole cars mainly around Surelere and Ikeja because traffic around those areas was too busy compared to other areas. We stole about 16 cars in Lagos before I was arrested when police trailed one of the cars to the receiver in Lokoja. The police then used the receiver to trick me and I was arrested. The receiver called and told me that he was in Lagos and he wanted to come and collect someone and I rushed to where he told me and I was arrested.
“After I was arrested, the police asked me to call my friend, and when I did, he sensed danger and escaped. I was later charged to court and remanded in prison, but while in prison, I got news that my friend had been killed while he attempted to steal someone’s car in Lagos. I spent four years in prison because I couldn’t fulfill my bail conditions. I came out in 2016 and relocated to Abuja and started treating people again.
“Early this year, Ilia came to me for treatment. He told me he had gonorrhea and I started treating him. In the process, we became friends and he told me that he lost his job as a security guard and that he wanted me to assist him. At that time, I had one of my car receivers calling me that he needed cheap cars. I told Ilia that we could make money if we could get them for him. Illa then suggested that we should get military uniform; which we did. We started stopping cars at bus stops at night. We will flag down any neat looking taxi and when we enter it will show the driver our toy gun and force him to stop the vehicle. We will collect all his money and zoom off with his vehicle. Then I will call our receiver who is at Ejule community in Ofa Local Government of Kogi State. We will hand over the vehicle to him. He pays us between N120,000 and N150,000 for each vehicle. The charm I prepared for protection was highly effective and it prevented the police from arresting us, but Illia was the person who got me into trouble again. I don’t know where he went to rob. He did not disclose the amount he stole, but he brought just the man’s car to me and asked me to prepare charms that will prevent the man from looking for him. He didn’t even give proper details about the operation. I accepted and kept the key in my shrine and before I knew what was happening he brought the police to my house and they arrested me.”
On his part, 30-year-old Christopher Ilia, who is a native of Lokoja, alleged that his inability to secure a job led him into crime.
“I became so desperate after I lost my job. I started robbing people of their phones. I went out very early in morning. I attacked people in broken down vehicles or those who are working alone. I threaten them with my gun,” he said.
Both men are now in police detention and would be arraigned in court soon.