A young Nigerian man identified as David Aremo has narrated how life has turned him to become an arm robber after he dropped out of school.
In 2010, when some of his mates were already in the University, David Aremo, who was commuted at 18, had just become one of the youngest inmates at the Kirikiri prison in Lagos having been found guilty and sentenced to three months for stealing.
Aremo’s short stay at the prison was supposed to reform him, but he ended up being lured into the real world of crime by criminals in the prison.
In this edition of Encounter, Aremo shares his tortuous journey from a young innocent bright child to the dark world of crime and how his 10 years residency in the prison eventually helped him discover his true talents.
I am from Ondo State but born in Lagos. I am the first child among four siblings. I used to be very brilliant and smart in school and was doing fine until JSS 2 when I began to experience challenges with my studies. My father was having serious financial challenges when I was in primary school, so I stayed at home for a long time before proceeding to secondary school. By the time I finally got into a public school, I was not doing well in my studies.
Sometimes, my siblings and I will go to school without food. We had to trek a long distance to school because there was no money for transport. It was really very difficult for my family back then. As I continued to face challenges in school, what was on my mind was how to just quickly make money so by the time I was in SS1, I had already started flirting with bad gangs within and outside school. We would always hang out at the back of the school. Eventually I was not able to pass my WAEC. Immediately I got out of school, I became a street boy full time and started making money by any means.
I did all manners of jobs including factory work, but I wasn’t really making the kind of money I wanted. In 2010, I started working with a man who owned a car shop along Obanikoro area of Lagos. I was in charge of sales and taking money to the bank for deposit. A guy I was living with then convinced me that I should steal my employer’s money so one day after sales; I stole N300, 000 from the daily sales and ran away. My initial intention was to use the money to rent an apartment but I eventually squandered the money in a hotel where I lodged with friends. Some days later, my friends went to tell my boss where I lodged and I was arrested by the police. About N60,000 was left from the money after I was caught. I was detained at the police station for three days before I was arraigned in court. During the trial at Oshodi Magistrates Court, I pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three months in prison.
Welcome to prison
I thought my life was bad, but when I got into the prison, it got worse. Initially, I was scared when I got into the prison at 18 years but when I finally settled down, I discovered it was hell. As a small boy, I became an errand boy for other inmates and was always washing clothes for them as a means of survival. I was totally neglected by my family as no one visited me while I was there.
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