5 Biggest Crime Stories Of 2017
A lot of crimes were reported in 2017. The police did well by solving some while some are still unresolved.
Many cases of kidnapping, corruption, sexual assault, murder and armed robbery were reported.
Some of them were scary, shocking and left us dumbfounded. Some were stupid and silly, while some were big because they generated a lot of buzz.
The killing of a former reality show winner, Hector Jobateh and the arrest of his killers is still fresh in our memories.
There are many regrets but many lessons were learnt.
Bounce News welcomes you all into the New Year with a review of some of the biggest crime stories of 2017 and an appeal for more vigilance and cooperation with law enforcement in 2018.
1. Evans The Billionaire Kidnapper
Only few people will argue the fact that this was the biggest crime story in 2017 and can even be tagged the biggest achievement of the Nigerian Police within the year.
For a long time, Chukwudi Dumeme Onuamadike, aka Evans, topped the list of the most wanted criminals in Nigeria because he had been the brain behind the biggest kidnap for ransom crimes.
He was worth several millions of dollars. He lived in a mansion in Magodo area of Lagos and had several real estate assets within and outside Nigeria.
He was so big and daring that he collected his ransom in dollars and had received up to $1 million from a single victim.
For so long, the police could not just get him because of his wide network and strong connection backed by sophisticated technology.
But luck ran out on him and he got arrested in his mansion in Magodo area of the state on Friday, June 9 by the Special Police Intelligence Response Team working with officers from the Lagos State Command.
After this came series of unbelievable revelations, fascinating stories and annoying claims during his confessions.
He became an instant social media sensation. His Magodo mansion became a tourist site. He became an object of research and even the police got some bashing for “over-celebrating” his arrest.
Evans was fast becoming a celebrity, as some thought he was being used as scapegoat in favour of some ‘bigger criminals’.
He is now standing trial for several charges, most of them bordering on kidnapping and as we enter 2018, any piece of news about ‘Evans the kidnapper’ still generates amazing traffic.
2. Baddo Killings In Ikorodu
Many residents of Ikorodu town in Lagos state will never forget what they suffered in the hands of the dreaded group of criminals known as Badoo cult.
Every other morning, Lagosians woke up to gory tales of how families were brutally murdered in their sleep.
Their bizarre mode of operation sent cold shivers down the spines of everyone within and outside Ikorodu. The heartlessness of the Baddo guys made kidnappers look like learners.
The Lagos police had a tough time dealing with them but then came a new commissioner of police, Imohimi Edgal, who started to reemphasise the role of community policing in curbing the crime.
He went on a demolition mission to shrines and suspicious buildings across the town, raided hideouts and arrested some suspected members and their supposed backers.
He demystified them by refusing to glorify them with a name but instead insisted on them being referred to as mere lousy criminals. Gradually the noise of Badoo reduced and it keeps reducing.
The saddest memories of the Badoo story, however, are the sights of residents resorting to jungle justice against every suspect they caught.
Too many innocent people were killed after being mistaken for Badoo cultists.
One of them was fast-rising MC, Chinedu Paul, who was burnt to death just hours after he attended TV host I.K Osakioduwa's talk show.
3. Abuja Husband Killer
Last year was also the year of many cases of domestic violence being reported, thanks to social media.
But the ones that claimed a life should stand out as the worst of them all and that is the case of Bilyamin Muhammed Bello who was allegedly stabbed to death by his wife, Maryam.
Note that many others were killed by their spouses in 2017 and no life is any less important, but this makes the list because of the wide media coverage it got.
This is all thanks to the profile of the couple’s parents. Late Bilyamin is the son of former PDP chairman, Haliru Bello, while Maryam is the daughter of embattled former Aso Savings boss, Hajia Maimuna Aliyu.
It was gathered that the attack happened following an allegation of infidelity against Muhammed.
Maryam reportedly saw a text message on the deceased’s phone which infuriated her.
She allegedly stabbed her husband three times in the back and severally on his private part at their home in Maitama, Abuja.
She is still being remanded in prison on the orders of a court in Abuja.
4. Imo Bank Robbery Video
How can we forget the Imo bank robbery video that went viral sometime in June and the heroics of Sergeant Chukwudi Iboko at his duty post at the bank?
The day was going smoothly until a black saloon car entered the bank premises and everything changed.
Four men emerged from the vehicle, with three holding weapons, which looked like AK47 rifles.
The video shows the first person out of the vehicle releasing a shot which caused many people at the entrance of the bank, including the uniformed security man to flee.
But the robbers were swiftly engaged in a gun battle. Shots rang out from the security post at the bank’s entrance, shattering the car windows.
An occupant of the car shot back. But one of the robbers, who had tried to attack the occupant of the security post, was instantly gunned down.
Iboko who shot dead the robber was seen escaping from security post, while one of the other robbers pursued and shot after him.
Sadly, the Imo State Police Command later revealed that owing to the multiple gunshot injuries sustained by Iboko, he succumbed to his injuries two months later while in intensive care.
5. Anambra Church Massacre
This must be some gang war, we thought; or a case of business gone bad? Communal clash? Or what exactly?
The people of Ozubulu community in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra state were thrown into mourning and fear of what was to come.
It was during a Sunday service on August 6 when a gunman stormed the St. Philip Catholic Church, leaving sorrow, tears and blood as his memorabilia.
They were all gathered for the 6:00 a.m. mass when the man dressed in black attire covering his face with a cap entered the church and moved straight to a particular direction and opened fire.
The man, after shooting at his targeted victims, still went on a shooting spree, killing and wounding other worshippers.
Eleven people were killed while several others were left injured.
Nigerians were shocked and confused, especially after rumour started spreading that the attack was carried out by Boko Haram elements.
From the state commissioner of police to the governor, the vice president of Nigeria and everyone that mattered, the attack became an issue of national importance.
Police later said that the attack was carried out by a native of the area and it followed a quarrel between two natives of Ozubulu residing overseas.
Describing the act as sacrilegious, the Commissioner of Police said it was wrong for the perpetrators of the act to extend their quarrel into the church.
“Such conduct shows the people behind the act do not fear God,” he said.
But no one has been brought to justice.