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Profiling Nigeria’s Notorious Armed Robbers: (‘Doctor’ Ishola Oyenusi)

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It is another day and we bring you yet another notorious criminal in the annals of Nigerian history.

The deadly Ishola Oyenusi smiling even at the face of death (Africa Research Bulletin)

In the history of crime in Nigeria, Ishola Oyenusi, also known as ‘The Doctor’, a cold-blooded armed robber who held sway in the early 70s, stands on a very special threshold that none can ever dream of attaining.

Before he was executed on Wednesday, September 8, 1971, at the famous Bar Beach show in front of 30,000 watching Nigerians, no one believed that ‘The Doctor’ would be captured, as he was famed for ‘disappearing’ or his body capable of being pierced by bullets.

In fact, he must have had so much faith in his charms that he smiled all the way to the stake and even as soldiers aimed their rifles at him and his co-criminals, Oyenusi still radiated an aura of invincibility.

The phenomenal armed robber rose from the ashes of the Nigerian-Biafran Civil War that spanned three years, from 1967-1970.

Oyenusi was a charismatic, cocksure gangster whose lordly disdain for the law cast the terrifying portent of social breakdown, and had come to be celebrated as the quintessential bandit of his time.

Photo Credit: Africa Research Bulletin

During his reign of terror, Doctor Oyenusi carved a name for himself as the most brutal terror the country had ever known. He lived up to another of his nickname of ‘Dr. Rob and Kill’, because he was known to kill with impunity and his myth was legendary. He unleashed boundless terror on many Nigerians and would kill even for a stick of cigarrete.

Oyenusi was no doubt, the uncrowned emperor of Nigerian robbers and he was described as the ‘first celebrated armed robber in Nigeria’, regarded by some as the pioneer of conventional armed robbery in Nigeria.

When Oyenusi reigned at the height of his regal confidence, he declared: ‘The bullet has no power over me.‘

In The Beginning

Legend has it that Ishola Oyenusi got into active robbery back in 1959, but he committed his first major robbery when he snatched a car along Herbert Macaulay Road in Yaba, Lagos, and killing its owner in the process, just because his girlfriend was broke and needed money to buy her make-up.


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One comment

  1. He (Oyenusi) was a notoriuos robber only equalled by Lawrence Anini

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