Ishola Oyenusi, popularly known as Doctor Oyenusi, was a notorious armed robber who terrorized the people of Lagos and other neighboring cities in the 1970s. Ishola Oyenusi and his gang of six were highly skilled in snatching cars, robbing banks, factories, stores and killing people like chickens. 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. So without having a secondary school education, Oyenusi by no way could have been a medical doctor.
Ishola Oyenusi being led to the stake
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. Doctor Ishola Oyenusi (circled) and his gang’s execution
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. 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. In recent times, a
Nollywood actor, Odunlade Adekola , also released a movie (Oyenusi) detailing the life of Ishola Oyenusi, the notorious Nigerian armed robber.
The name Ishola Oyenusi will forever be remembered in the history of crime in Nigeria.
Reference and Photo Credit :
* Osifodunrin, Paul Ayodele; Dec. 2007; Armed Robbery and Murder in Lagos, 1960-2000; Violent Crimes in Lagos, 1861–2000: Nature, Responses, and Impact (Thesis). University of Lagos.
* Africa Research Bulletin
Oyenusi came into limelight after the Nigerian civil war ended in 1970. 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, 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.