His arrest, escape from police cell and re-arrest is generating controversy. Wasiu Saka, 30, was a notorious car robber in Ondo State and his mode of operation was to apply as a driver to un-suspecting employers and, after securing employment, abscond with their cars.
After stealing cars from his employers in Lagos State, Saka will drive to Akungba-Akoko, his home town in Ondo State, to show off that he had ‘arrived’ and live big after which he would sell the car at a ridiculous price and return to Lagos for another car theft operation.
He was arrested by detectives from the Ondo State Police Command last month with a Toyota Hiace bus marked, Lagos JJJ 94XD.
After interrogation, he reportedly confessed to have stolen the bus from a Good Samaritan who, after listening to his story that he has a family in Ondo State and had been jobless for months and desperately in need of a job to feed his family members, employed him as a driver.
Police sources hinted that Saka had stolen no fewer than four vehicles, including a vehicle belonging to a notable company in Lagos.
After his arrest on June 21, he, however, miraculously escaped from police cell in the night of the second day after the arrest.
His escape caused a stir as the police authorities queried the officers in charge of his case and a standing order was given to smoke him out from his hideout.
The suspect was re-arrested after a manhunt for him yielded result in Akungba-Akoko area.
Upon re-arrest, Saka allegedly confessed that his escape from police cell was made possible with help from some policemen, and that after paying them relocated to Ile-Ife, Osun State to avoid the prying eyes of police detectives.
He alleged that those who aided his escape from police cell also taught him what to do to avoid re-arrest.
Saka alleged that while the police were searching for him, he was in touch with his accomplices from his hideout.
In Ile-Ife, Saka said he continued with his robbery business because, according to him, that was the only business he knew how to do.
He stated that he secured a driving job with one Mrs Rosemary Omotosho whom she took to church on Sunday, July 26, in her Toyota car marked Lagos LSR 68 DH.
Speaking exclusively with Sunday Vanguard after he was paraded by the Ondo State Police Command, alongside 36 other suspected criminals terrorizing the state, the suspect Saka said after he dropped his employer in church he fled with the car only to inform her that the vehicle had been stolen.
He said that because Omotosho is rich, he wanted to extort her before selling the car and bolting away.
Five days later, he called her again that some people had recovered the car in Ibadan but were demanding for N35, 000 before they could bring back the car to her.
The employer, according to him, immediately sent a recharge voucher of N10,000 to him to pay.
According to him, he informed the boss that the people insisted that the car would not be released until the balance was paid.
As this went on, he said he relocated to Akungba-Akoko with the car.
Police source said Saka was re-arrested in a beer parlour.
It was gathered that it was while he was being interrogated for the previous alleged crimes that his activities in Ife came to light.
However, during interrogation, the suspect alleged that he was able to escape from police cell after settling some policemen with N60,000.
“When I was told that I would be taken to court and may be remanded in Olokuta Prison, I discussed with some policemen on how they could assist me”,he was quoted as saying.
” I later paid them N60, 000 and they facilitated my escape from cell and I fled to Ile-Ife. Saka described the police allegation that he escaped from cell as unfair, saying he paid his way through.
But two policemen, who reportedly witnessed the interview, were said to have shouted him down, describing him as a chronic liar and notorious car robber who spoke from both sides of the mouth.
They queried how the same policemen he was accusing of aiding his escape were the ones that re-arrested him.
According to them, the suspect was a drowning man looking for those to pull down and blackmail.
However, the state Police Commissioner, Isaac Eke, and the policemen did not say how Saka escaped from police cell but only interested in his re-arrest.
Eke, while speaking on the 37 suspected criminal arrested in July, said the suspect was in the habit of stealing his employers vehicles in Lagos and driving them to Akungba-Akoko to sell only to return to Lagos to look for another driving job and would repeat the same thing to un-suspecting car owners.