Gabriel Uyua, 38, made things easier for detectives at the Benue State Police Command, last week, when he walked into a station and declared himself as a criminal.
He said that he had over seven years’ experience in criminal activities.
Uyua sought for solutions to his involvement in criminal activities from the police.
He was paraded alongside 14 other suspects by the police at the command’s headquarters in Makurdi in connection with motorcycle thefts in different locations of the state.
The state has witnessed series of attacks by riders on motorcyclists, popularly known as Okada, in recent times, especially in Makurdi metropolis where sometimes they were killed and dispossessed of their motorcycles.
Uyua, however, denied being part of the ‘killer-bike snatchers’ syndicate, but admitted that he stole more than 15 motorcycles since in 2009.
He said his desire to quit criminality prompted him to report himself to the police, hoping that he would be enlisted into the already-closed amnesty programme of Governor Samuel Ortom of the state.
“I reported myself to the police because I want rest. I told them that I want to be part of the amnesty programme and that I want them to find a solution that will help me stop stealing. I have really suffered in my life because of this criminal business,” Uyua said.
He said he hailed from the governor’s local government, Guma, but lived in Nasarawa State, where he used to steal motorcycles which they brought to Benue where they dismantle and sold them as spare parts.
Uyua, a mechanic, disclosed that he used to demobilise security systems on the motorcycles before delivering them to his two accomplices residing in Abinsi village of Guma Local Government Area. But the Benue State Commissioner of Police, Dibal Yakadi, who paraded the suspects at the command’s headquarters in Makurdi for their alleged involvement in theft of motorcycles, has faulted the claims made by Uyua.
Yakadi explained that the command was on the trail of Uyua after smashing his syndicate and that the police were closing in on him before he surrendered himself.
The commissioner, who spoke through his spokesman, Moses Yamu, said the police were currently on the trail of other suspects, now on the run, while those in their custody would be charged to court.
He warned that criminals in the state would be fished out of their hideouts unless they left the state.
The police command reintroduced the ban on motorcycle movement between 8:00p.m. and 6:00a.m. daily, giving an exception to those on essential duties.
The measure, it said, was aimed at curbing Okada related crimes in the state.
The command indicated that security personnel were not excluded from the ban.