Crime in Nigeria is not a new story. Some may say there is no law so technically, there is no crime. Every day new types of crime and their punishments spring up, which leaves the Nigerian people in awe. Public shame is not enough deterrence for the Nigerian criminal. Over the years, the country has seen criminals become legends in their field and dominate the most notorious planes like the Lagos crime scene. These people defied the odds and reigned terror on the country. They have stories you will not belive are true crime stories. Though there are almost no sources of crime statistics, if there were, it would almost skyrocket because everyone is a criminal, even authority because the law is broken every minute of the day, by everybody. Crime in Nigeria is nothing new.
Here are 5 Legends of crime in Nigeria.
Lawrence Anini aka ‘The Law’
Lawrence Nomanyagbon Anini was a Nigerian bandit who terrorised Benin City in the 80s with his sidekick Monday Osunbor. The Law was a force that gave the Nigerian police and civilians chills and one he was one to reckon with. Lawrence Anini was born in a village not too far from Benin City in present-day Edo State. Anini moved to Benin at an early age and learned to drive, he became a taxi driver. He was a popular lad in Benin motor parks as a man who could control the varied competing interests among motor park touts and operators. Now that, was a skill. He later delved into the criminal business in the city and soon became a driver and transporter for gangs, criminal godfathers and thieves. Anini is one of those criminals who changed the game for crime in Nigeria. Anini and his gang robbed banks, people, organisations of cars, money and murdered many civilians and policemen. Anini became so powerful he seemed unstoppable and invincible, he feared nobody and was heavily reported in the news. He was deemed a Robin Hood in Bendel. It took the courage of Superintendent of Police, Kayode Uanreroro, along with a 10-man team, to bring the Anini reign of terror to an end. Due to injuries sustained during his arrest Lawrence Anini’s leg was amputated. He along with other gang members were tried and executed on March 29, 1987.
Doctor Ishola Oyenusi
Doctor Ishola Oyenusi was a celebrity criminal often regarded as the greatest criminal in Nigerian history. He was termed a coldblooded criminal and the first to ever commit crime this big. His terror reigned in the early 70s until his execution in 1971. He dominated the crime scene right after the Nigerian Civil War. His modus operandi was carjackings, bank robberies and heists committed during hold-ups. He robbed during the day and at night and was also nicknamed ‘Mr. Rob and Kill’. Him Dr, Oyenusi along with his 6-man gang killed people like chickens on Christmas day. It was often said that Oyenusi was romantic and his first crime was high jacking a car because his girlfriend needed money. The car was sold for 400 naira. He was arrogant and unrepentant. It is said that his possessed charms which made bullets impenetrable to his body and allowed him to disappear. Oyenusi together with six other members of his gang were executed on 8 September 1971 by a combined police and armed forces firing brigade, at the Bar Beach, Lagos, in front of 30,000 bystanders. Oyenusi smiled.
Shina Rambo was a legendary Nigerian criminal, who terrorised South-West Nigeria in the 1990s. The mention of his name had people fleeing scenes as though he was present. He was a terror, a killer and hardened criminal, one Nigeria will never forget. Some reports claim he was born in 1963 and others say 1958 but it doesn’t change the fact that he lived life on the edge. The 6ft 5 towering, dark man, committed crimes in broad daylight using some of the most efficient weapons of that era. He specialized in robbing exotic cars on highways and robbing banks. He was unstoppable. Shina Rambo was born to a corrupt military officer dad. His father hailed from Abeokuta in Ogun state and his mother was a native of Sabongida–Ora in Edo state. His father had numerous wives, as it was the norm for soldiers to impregnate every woman they met wherever they were posted to. His father used authority to rob innocent citizens, and always brought a huge amount of money home. The apple didn’t quite fall far from the tree. With the use of charms, guns, explosives and other weapons, the man known as Shina Rambo was able to uphold a criminal revolutionary after the likes of Anini and Oyenusi. In his quest for power, he reportedly pounded 27 newborn babies, cut off 100 human tongues, made sacrifices in the river of life located at Ogoja, Cross River State, lived in an iroko tree and even slept in a cemetery. He became stronger and killed the nine herbalists who made it possible in a bid to conceal his secrets. Shina Rambo was so powerful he robbed 40 cars in one days and drove them all in convoy to Cotonou, unstopped. This man could shapeshift and had a spiritual wife who followed him for each opearation, Shina Rambo was a criminal god. His gang once escaped a police chase by throwing millions into a crowd of people. he surrendered himself to the police and served 11 years in Agodi prison, Ibadan, Nigeria. After serving his jail term he became a born again Christian and is now an Evangelist who goes by Mathew Oluwanifemi.
Abiodun Egunjobi aka Godogodo
Abiodun Egunjobi aka Godogodo was a one-eyed bandit, referred to as the modern day Anini. Godogodo rose form being a regular slum boy to the leader of one of the worst gangs in modern Nigerian crime. This man gave the Nigerian police and people 14 years of terror. Also called the one-eyed assassin, he made everything Lawrence Anini did look like child’s play. Abiodun Egunjobi was deadly. With a vow to gun down as many police officers as possible, he led numerous operations, robbed banks and killed many police men. He carried tons of ammunition and was always prepared for a fight. The plot twist in his story is how he was able to put up a front as a reputable business and family man, owning about 50 fish ponds, 6 houses across the nation and a family who didn’t even know what he was into. Abiodun’s turn to crime was a result of the vengeance he sought from the Nigerian police for making him spend seven years in prison for what he believed to be a minor offence. He sent horror through the streets of Lagos and was eventually caught in Dubai.
Clifford Nwa Orji was Nigeria’s first publicly known cannibal. A man-eater and human parts dealer who paraded himself as a lunatic living under a flyover in Lagos. Clifford was a silent criminal, his victims all suffered the same fate. His day of reckoning came when a man leaving a vigil was attracted to his tyre made shack by the smell of human meat roasting. A peep into the shack, brought a horrific picture. Littered in Clifford’s den were severed feet, ribs, hands and people’s belongings. It is said that he sold human parts to the high, mighty and rich. The passer by alerted people nearby and they stormed the den. Clifford’s run for it resulted in a chase, and he was caught. An awaiting victim was also found, however, she died days later. That fateful day, the flyover was more eventful than normal. Clifford killed and ate many. Clifford Orji was arrested in February 3, 1999, and charged before an Ebute-Meta Magistrate’s Court in Lagos on February 19 of the same year. Since then, he was never tried. He reportedly died in Kirikiri prison in 2012.