By Onome Oghenetega
Guts and bravery heralded the efforts of a 24-year-old unarmed commercial tricycle operator also popularly known as Keke rider fought two suspected armed robbery suspects in the process disarming one of the suspects.
The tricycle operator, Kennis Ojokojo, beat one of the robbery suspects to a pulp before handing him to youths in Jakpa community in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.
Kennis , who watched as the two robbery suspects disposed a fellow Keke rider and his passengers of their valuables along the Sokoh road, trailed the hoodlums with his tricycle to their fleeing destination.
The incident, according to the bravery Keke rider, occurred on Saturday June 1 at about 8pm.
Recounting his experience with the hoodlums to jJournalists at the Secretariat of the Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ) Warri Correspondents’ Chapel, Ojokojo said he narrowly escaped being killed by the hoodlums who shot at him.
He told journalists that one of the suspected armed robbers fled the scene when the fight became fierce.
Ojokojo, who, however, recovered the commercial tricycle from the suspects which he also handed over to the police through the youths in Jakpa Community, said 15 pellets of the bullet, penetrated his chest.
The braved 24-year-old, who said still receiving medical treatments, revealed that 15 bullets were pumped into his body but nine have been removed.
According to him, while driving to pick customer’s chairs he had been booked to carry, he heard a girl shouting, “My phone” at Okito junction along Jakpa road near Sokoh Estate.
Ojokojo said I gave them a hot chase and but his Keke fell into a dish at Orhumarho junction.
He said “When I chased them to the street opposite Sideso Primary School, I heard one of the hoodlums telling his colleagues to shoot me. The next thing I heard was a gun shot at my direction but I was only hit by the pellets.
“As the robber was cocking the gun the second time to shoot me, I dived him and the gun fell to different direction. That’s the point we started fighting until overpowered him. At this time, the other robber has fled the scene leaving two of us on the ground. We were still fighting residents rushed the scene.”
Ojokojo, who is paternally from Orhoakpor and maternally from Jakpa Communities in Ethiope-East and Uvwie Local Government Areas gave reasons why he had to risk his life to combat the armed hoodlums.
According to him,” I decided to fight on because if I had run, they would have shot me directly and I could have died in the process. It was when the first shot didn’t hit me that dived the robber not to get the opportunity to shot. People who were coming to support me had to run for safety when they shot at me. It was God that kept me alive”
He added that it was after he had handed the robbery suspect to the youths that he was rushed to hospital to remove some of the pellets shot at him.
Ojokojo revealed that the two kekes including his own were taken to the Ekpan Police State along with the suspect he apprehended,
He said police officers at the Ekpan Division blamed him for combating armed robbers. He posited that the DPO ordered his keke to be released to him immediately for his bravery.
He, however, thanked the DPO for the manner he was treated.