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Theft robbery

The first celebrated Nigeria Armed robber who smiled to his death

Ishola Oyenusi popularly known as Dr. Ishola was know as the first Nigerian notorious armed robber. His modus operandi was carjackings, bank robberies and heists committed during hold-ups.

Doctor Ishola Oyenusi came into limelight after the Nigerian civil war ended in 1970.

Oyenusi started off his robbery career by snatching a car (whose owner died in the process) just because his (Oyenusi) girlfriend needed some money. It was claimed by some sources that Oyenusi was romantic.

He robbed banks and people in both daylight and night, and he never let any of his victims live to see another day; he killed them all! This earned him the name “Doctor rob and kill“.

At the height of his horrific reign, Ishola Oyenusi bragged that “the bullet has no power“. He probably forgot that he who live by the sword will surely die by the sword. Oyenusi was so infamous that he was regarded by some people as the “first celebrated armed robber in Nigeria“, and after him was Lawrence Anini, Babatunde Folorunsho (Baba oni lace), Shina Rambo, Buraimo Jimoh and others.

As a popular adage says, everyday belongs to the thief while a day belongs to the owner. On the 27th of March, 1971, Oyenusi was nabbed by the police during one of his robbery operations in which he and his notorious gang killed a police constable named Mr. Nwi and stole $28,000 as at then. Cloud of shame hovered above Doctor Ishola Oyenusi as he was casted before the law and found guilty then sentenced to death by firing squad.

Oyenusi confessed that he was not to die alone because he did not commit the crimes alone.

He vomited the names of other members of the gang which were as follows: Joseph Osamedike, Ambrose Nwokobia, Joel Amamieye, Philip Ogbolumain, Ademola Adegbitan and Stephen Ndubuokwu.

Back then, public execution was the order of the day, so when Oyenusi was ushered to the popular Bar Beach in Lagos where he was to be executed, over 30,000 Nigerians were happily and excitedly waiting to see the man who had terrorized them get riddled by hot bullets. 

Trucks carrying Oyenusi and his executors arrived at the execution ground around 10:am. Doctor Oyenusi, his gang members and one other criminal got down slowly.

People jeered and booed them, especially Oyenusi who they had really trooped out to watch die. Oyenusi donned a dark long-sleeve shirt and had his hands tied behind him.

He was sweating profusely but managed to smile all the way to the stakes. He kept smiling, but could still not hide the agony and terror written boldly on his face.

He said “I am dying for the offense I have committed“. Oyenusi and other criminals were fastened to the stakes. The soldiers lined in front of them and aimed their ever ready guns. Some of the criminals yelled their last words of protest at the cameras. Then a loud voice let out the word “fire“! Oyenusi and other criminals’ bodies were sprayed with bullets.

That was the bitter end of Ishola Oyenusi who lived by the bullets and died by the bullets. The execution of Doctor Ishola Oyenusi sent the streets of Lagos deserted at night. Families locked themselves behind doors for the fear that some of Oyenusi’s boys might retaliate. This fear lasted long that even in 1977, the veteran movie director, Eddie Ugbomah, called for actors to play the role of Oyenusi in a movie he was about to produce titled “The Rise and Fall of Dr. Oyenusi“, but no actor was brave enough to step forward to play the role.

They all feared that Oyenusi’s boys might show them pepper.

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Babatunde Folorunsho Buraimo Jimoh Ishola Oyenusi Lawrence Anini Nigeria

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