Nigeria’s Deadliest Armed Robber

Couple of weeks ago
I shared with you the story of one of the notorious armed robbers Nigeria have
ever produced, I mean the story of ANINI. I personally love digging into
deep-rooted histories, as they say that The past is the mother of the present
that is pregnant of tomorrow!

His name is Ishola
Oyenusi, popularly known as Doctor Oyenusi. Was he really a doctor? Well you’ll
find out later. He was a notorious armed robber who terrorized the people of
Lagos and other neighboring cities in the 1970s. I guess these guys have their
location dominance.
Ishola Oyenusi and
his 6-member gang were dangerously skilled in snatching cars, robbing banks,
invading factories, pulling down assorted stores and killing people without
mercy. Doctor Oyenusi, as he was called, was NOT a doctor by profession but
adopted the title for the fun of it. The evidence lies in a confession he made
few minutes before his execution. He confessed that his parents were not
capable of furthering his secondary school education and that was what forced
him into robbery. By all standards, he couldn’t have been a medical doctor
without having to pass through a formal education.
Oyenusi kicked off
his robbery career by snatching a car (whose owner died in the process) just
because his (Oyenusi) girlfriend needed some money. It was said by some people
that Oyenusi was romantic. He sold the car at the price of N400 and gave the
money to his girlfriend. It was also said that Oyenusi was hot tempered and
arrogant. During his arrest, he thundered down on a police officer who was
ushering him around. He said,
like you don’t talk to me like that when I’m armed, I gun them down!”

Oyenusi came into
limelight after the Nigerian civil war ended in 1970. He robbed banks and
people in both broad daylight and night, and he never let any of his victims
live to tell the story, he killed them all! This earned him the name “Doctor
Rob and Kill“. At the height of his horrific reign, Oyenusi bragged that “the
bullet has no power“. He never remembered that he who lives 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, and others like
Babatunde Folorunsho (Baba oni lace), Shina Rambo, Buraimo Jimoh and others
which I’ll be sharing their stories with you on my blog as time goes on.
Nothing, they say
last forever, and as they say, everyday is for the thief, one day is for the
Sometime around
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 a huge sum of money amounting tens of thousands in dollars.
Cloud of shame hovered around 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
named other members of the gang in likes of Joseph Osamedike, Ambrose Nwokobia,
Joel Amamieye, among others. In those days, public execution popularly called
capital punishment was the order of the day. So when Oyenusi was patrolled to
the popular Bar Beach in Lagos where he was to be executed, more than 30,000
Nigerians were anxiously waiting to see the unforgiving beast that devours
lives and shattered homes to be paid back with his own coin. It was even reported
that some group of persons brought a coffin to the execution ground to mock the
once mighty robber kingpin who was now nothing but a sort of example to the

Trucks carrying
Oyenusi and his executors arrived at the execution ground around 10:00 am.
Doctor Oyenusi, his gang members and some other criminals remorsefully matched
down. People jeered and booed them. The celebration on people’s face, for once,
was far more important than that of Eid-el-fitr nor Christmas. Oyenusi donned a
dark long-sleeve shirt and had his hands tied behind him, while covered in his
own sweat, as though he tried to belly with his smiles. He kept smiling, but
could still not hide the agony and terror written boldly on his face.
Few minutes before
he was sporadically shot, Oyenusi told journalists that he would not have
ventured into armed robbery if his parents were capable of sending him to
secondary school. He also said,
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 unforgiving cold iron (guns). Some of the criminals yelled their
last words of protest at the cameras. Then a loud voice let out the word,
Oyenusi and other
criminal’s body were horrifically adorned with bullets. That was the
justifiable bitter end of Ishola Oyenusi who lived by the bullets and died by
the bullets.
After his
execution, the fear of Oyenusi is the begining of safety, he sent the streets
of Lagos deserted at night, families locked themselves behind doors for the
fear that the dreadful man’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
Eddie Ugbomah had
no choice than to play the role of Oyenusi himself. In the movie, he revealed
the secrets of top Nigerian officials and military men backing Oyenusi and his
gang by providing them money and weapons. As expected, Eddie Ugbomah was
threatened and later, his store was looted. He was told in a letter to stop
shooting the movie and everything would be returned to him. But Eddie Ugbomah
proved not to be a coward by eventually releasing the movie in 1977.
Well, in recent
times, popular Nollywood actor, Odunlade Adekola , also released a movie
(Oyenusi) detailing the life of Ishola Oyenusi, the notorious Nigerian armed
robber. (Act of bravery you’ll say?…lol)
Just as the name of
ANINI will forever be remembered in the history of crime in Nigeria, so also
would Doctor Oyenusi’s.
Reference and Photo
Osifodunrin, Paul
Ayodele; Dec. 2007; Armed Robbery and Murder in Lagos, 1960-2000; Violent
Crimes in Lagos, 1861–2000: Nature, Responses, and Impact. University of Lagos.


About The Author: Adeshile Adekolajo

Adekolajo is a graduate from the University of Abuja, He works for Ntel
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is a writer, blogger and poet, to read more of his interesting and
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Oluwole Olusanya
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.