Unarguably Nigeria’s most dreaded criminal, Lawrence Nomanyagbon Anini was a Nigerian bandit who terrorised Benin city in the 1980s along with his sidekick Monday Osunbor.
Anini was dreadfully called ‘The Law’ or ‘Ovbigbo’. He migrated to Benin at an early age, learned to drive and became a skilled taxi driver. Reports suggest that he became known in Benin motor parks as a man who could control the varied competing interests among motor park touts and operators.
Anini is widely recognized as a driver and transporter for gangs, criminal godfathers and thieves. He created a gang which included, Monday Osunbor, Friday Ofege, Henry Ekponwan, Eweka and Alhaji zed zed or Zegezege who was never captured. They started out as car hijackers, bus robbers and bank thieves. Gradually, he extended his criminal acts to other towns and cities far north and east of Benin. It is echoed in some quarters that on one mission which eventually went south, Anini drove from Benin to Lagos with reverse.
There are claims that the complicity of the police triggered Anini’s reign of terror in 1986. In early 1986, two members of his gang were tried and prosecuted against an earlier under-the-table ‘agreement’ with the police to destroy evidence against the gang members.
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