Police officers are seen conducting checks on vehicles at the Federal High court in Abuja, Nigeria October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Two members of a syndicate specializing in murdering ride-hailing app drivers and selling their cars have been apprehended by Lagos State police.

Roqib Moshood and his alleged accomplice, Olawale Kolawole, were arrested, while the police continued to search for other fleeing gang members, including Yusuf Adeyemi. The group is accused of killing Oluwaseun Adeniran, a driver, and dumping his body by the roadside before stealing his vehicle.

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A source said that the suspects typically used unsuspecting victims to initiate their crimes. On April 12, 22-year-old Moshood asked his neighbor’s son, Taofiq Sanni, to request a ride from 43-year-old driver Adeniran.

Adeniran picked up Moshood and Adeyemi and drove them from the Ojodu area to a destination near Fagbem Filling Station, close to the Long Bridge end of the Lagos Ibadan Expressway.

During the journey, the suspects convinced Adeniran to take a desolate road beside the Long Bridge, claiming they were going to pick up a friend.

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Moshood explained, “The incident happened around 9 pm. We told the driver to pass through Fagbem to link the road beside the Long Bridge, which is usually abandoned. We convinced him by saying we were going to pick up a friend. Once we reached a spot, I, sitting behind the driver, suddenly brought out a rope and tied his neck.

As he wrestled to free himself, Adeyemi, sitting beside him, stabbed him in the chest and struck his head with a heavy object.”

After the driver died, the suspects pushed him out of the vehicle. Moshood took over the steering and drove away. On the way, Adeyemi got down to change his blood-stained clothes while Moshood drove to the Afrikan Shrine to meet with friends.

Moshood admitted that he and his gang had killed two e-hailing drivers using similar tactics, with a third victim narrowly escaping death.

“We have killed two drivers by pretending to be passengers. The one that led to my arrest was the incident near the Long Bridge. We sold the victim’s vehicle, a Toyota Camry, to a buyer for over N1 million.

As a car painter, I have a friend, Kolawole, who also paints cars. Kolawole didn’t know how I got the vehicle; I told him to pose as the owner to convince the buyer. Initially, I asked for N3 million, but after negotiation, the buyer paid about N1 million. The police arrested me in Ikire, Osun State,” Moshood said.

Kolawole, the accomplice, explained that he was arrested because he posed as the owner of the stolen vehicle to facilitate its sale. He also played a role in Moshood’s capture. “It was because I pretended to be the owner of the vehicle that I was arrested. Even after selling the car, the buyer kept threatening me due to issues with it.

When I called Moshood to intervene, he said he couldn’t reach the owner of the car. Eventually, I learned that Moshood had fled. I informed people about the threats, and that’s when I was told Moshood had killed someone and sold the vehicle,” Kolawole said.

When Adeniran’s family couldn’t locate him, they reported him missing to the Alausa Division of the state police command, prompting an investigation that led to the suspects. Efforts are ongoing to apprehend the remaining members of the syndicate.