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Offline Timi Dapsin

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« on: June 07, 2015, 09:32:41 PM »

Doctor’ Ishola Oyenusi, A Notorious Nigerian
‘Doctor’ Ishola Oyenusi is a name etched in the
history of Nigeria as one of the most violent
armed robbers, a criminal who unleashed
boundless terror on many Nigerians. But who
was he and what did he do that his name was
associated with so much notoriety?
The Nigerian Civil War had just ended in 1970 but
by the early 1970s, a stone-hearted armed
robber, Ishola Oyenusi (he called himself Dr.
Oyenusi even if he never finished the secondary
school), was terrorising all of Lagos, Nigeria’s
largest commercial centre. Before one tale of his
daring exploits di*d down, another one had
sprung up. Oyenusi was no ordinary pilferer, this
snitcher was downright wicked and had all the
self-confidence in the world to go with it. And
you know something? He was quite romantic and
chivalrous. There was a story of how he
snatched his first car on Herbert Macaulay Road
in Yaba, Lagos. Why? His girlfriend was broke.
He eventually sold the car for N400 but the sad
part was that in the process of stealing the car,
the poor owner was shot d*ad. He actually
snatched the first car he saw on the road. Such
was the ferocious nature of his audacity.
Oyenusi’s arrogance was also legendary. In 1970,
he was arrested and handcuffed by a police
officer. As the policeman was ordering him
around, Oyenusi blasted him and thundered:
‘People like you don’t talk to me like that when I
am armed. I gun them down.‘
Hmmm, but that was not all. Oyenusi was so
feared that when the famed movie director, Chief
Eddie Ugbomah made a film titled The Rise and
Fall of Dr. Oyenusi in 1977, there was no one
bold enough to come forward to act the role of
the armed robber because they feared his
members would show them shege. Ugbomah had
no other option but to act the role himself with
the feature film depicting the senseless violence
of armed robberies and the absolutely atrocious
manner by which lives of innocent Nigerians
were snuffed out. But there was one interesting
thing that happened: a medical doctor by the
name of Dr. Oyenusi was so mad at the film
producer that he headed for the court trying to
stop the shooting of the movie.
Actually, Ugbomah was threatened. He received
a letter from thieves who invaded and looted his
provision store, carting away all they could. In
the letter, they promised to return his goods if he
would only stop shooting the film in which he
exposed the support received by the armed
robbers from their ‘godfathers’ and even high-
ranking officers in the Nigerian Armed Forces.
The stubborn Ugbomah called their bluff and
went ahead with the 16mm-flick (kindly send us
a clip of this film if you have one). Ugbomah
would later produce many other films such as
Death of a Black President (1983), Esan
(Nemesis), The Mask and Vengeance of the Cult
in 1985.
In the 1970s, Oyenusi was no doubt the
uncrowned emperor of Nigerian robbers and he is
described as the ‘first celebrated armed robber in
Nigeria’. He is regarded by some as the pioneer
of conventional armed robbery in Nigeria. When
Oyenusi reigned at the height of his regal
confidence, he declared:
‘The bullet has no power.‘
As at that time, armed robbers were condemned
to death and thousands joyfully came out to
‘enjoy’ the grisly public executions before the
firing squad on the pristine beaches of Lagos.
Although Nigeria no longer has very ‘famous’
bandits and thieves like Anini (at teh age of 26,
Lawrence Nomayagbon Anini was the most
notorious robber in Nigeria), Babatunde
Folorunsho, Monday Osunbor, Shina Rambo,
Buraimoh Jimoh, Oyenusi, ‘Mighty Joe’, ‘Captain
Blood’ and George Iyamu (a former Deputy
Superintendent of Police who was Anini’s
collaborator), armed robbery is nonetheless a
major problem in the nation.
In March 1971, Oyenusi was nabbed by the
Nigerian Police after he organized a robbery in
which $28,000 (value as at that time) was
stolen. They killed a police constable in the
process. Although the first public execution of
robbers had taken place in April 1971, that of
Oyenusi and his criminal allies was a special
case and the Lagos government took time to
prepare the grounds at the Bar Beach.
By 8.am, officials were already at the execution
arena to check the whole place just to ensure
that everything went on ‘well’. A combined team
of police officers and soldiers struggled to
contain the surging crowd of thousands of
excited spectators. At about 9.15 am, a team of
Lagos City Council workers came to the
execution arena with empty mock coffins which
they calmly laid behind the execution stand.
Obviously, they were there to make fun of a man
who had sent so much terror into their hearts.
About half an hour later, eight robbers were led
to the execution stand…
On the day of Oyenusi’s execution, over 30,000
Nigerians trooped to the famous Bar Beach
(armed robberies were quite rare then and when
it happened, it was the gist of the town for
months so the considerably high level of the
people’s curiosity can be appreciated). While
some in the crowd jeered and booed Oyenusi and
his Gang of Seven, some of his friends and
family members present could not hold back
their tears. But for most of the witnesses, it was
good riddance to bad nonsense. As for Oyenusi,
he was smiling, smiling to the last but the agony
on his face too was unmistakable. But just few
minutes before his body was riddled with hot-
leaded bullets from stern-faced soldiers of the
Nigerian Army, he finally confessed saying:
‘I am dying for the offence I have committed.‘
Two army trucks and a black van conveyed them
to the firing spot. Oyenusi was in the black van.
In seconds, three soldiers flew out of the army
trucks and proceeded to the black van inside
which was Nigeria’s most dreaded armed robber.
The soldiers came to a screeching halt and
stood at attention by the van. All of a sudden,
one of them let out a shrill command! The door
was flung open and slowly, Oyenusi appeared
from within the darkness of the Black Maria. As
if the heavens were in concert, dark clouds had
formed over the Bar Beach. He was cloaked in a
dark long-sleeved shirt and his hands were tied
behind his back. He spotted a pair of dark
loafers and his trousers were wrinkled. Sweating
profusely, he kept throwing fast glances around
as if he was looking for someone as he surveyed
the crowd who had thronged the beach to simply
see him die.
As the soldiers grabbed and tied him to the pole,
he was still scanning through the crowd. One of
the giggling spectators in the crowd whispered to
the next ‘Who is he looking for?‘. Smartly, seven
soldiers formed a lethal line in front of Oyenusi.
A soldier let out a fierce command to the
sharpshooters. All of them took aim at Oyenusi.
The next voice reverberated all over Nigeria:
Like an electrocuted being, his body shook
vigorously as he slumped and went limp around
the pole that held his remains.
Truly, it's pays to have a good name rather
riches rooted with bad controversy.


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