Nigeria: Robbers Kill Seven in Lagos Raid
Robbers Sunday launched multiple attacks on various targets in Lagos, leaving in their trail, deaths and sorrow. Seven persons, including three policemen, were shot dead in the raids on targets in Ojodu, Ikeja, Surulere and Agege, among others. Those who were lucky among the victims, including a year-old baby, Taiye, were left with varying degrees of injuries.
The robbers had first struck at a bureau de change in Gbagada area before moving on to Ojodu and Ikeja. Another gang was believed to have launched attacks on targets around Anthony, Oshodi, Itire, Agege, Bariga, Ilasamanja and Adelabu Street in Surulere.
In what looked like well-coordinated attacks, the robbers held the citizenry of the state in different areas to ransom while the operations lasted. It could, however, not be confirmed if the robbers were of the same or different gangs.
THISDAY gathered that the armed gang had successfully looted the bureau-de-change after shooting some people. The volley of bullets from the robbers scared residents away from the streets while the operation lasted. The terror-struck residents resorted to using the social media network, especially twitter, Facebook and blackberry messages to announce the attacks and to warn others against coming into the neighbourhood.
It was also gathered that in their attempt to make a successful get-away with their loot, the robbers had engaged a patrol team of the RRS with registration number 5251 which they met at Guinness Bus Stop, Oba Akran Road, Ikeja, in a gun duel which resulted in the death of two police officers.
Eyewitness accounts said the robbers outgunned the police officers because they took them unawares. According to an eyewitness simply identified as Akin, the RRS patrol vehicle was not aware that the SUV that was driving by had armed robbers in it and so were not prepared for the onslaught of gunfire that greeted their approach.
However, another report said the robbers opened fire on the RRS team when the policemen were pursuing them. According to eyewitnesses, the police team were pursuing the robbers when both sides engaged in a gun duel at Guinness Bus Stop.
Another gang, which operated on a motorcycle at Anthony Bus Stop on the Ikorodu Expressway, was said to have shot a Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) official identified as Sosan on both legs.
Confirming the shooting of the official, the Public Relations Officer, LASTMA, Bola Ajao, said the official was responding to treatment at an undisclosed hospital where he was rushed to for treatment.
She said: “The robbers at Anthony were said to have operated on a commercial motorcycle and shot some of the LASTMA officials on duty even though they were not armed.
“The bullets pierced through Sosan’s right leg and entered into the left. He lost a lot of blood but he was rushed to the hospital on time and he’s responding to treatment.”
At Gbagada, besides robbing another bureau de change, the robbers also raided traders such as restaurant owners, recharge card sellers, pedestrians and motorists. Eyewitness account disclosed that the robbers who came in two vehicles, an SUV and a Toyota Camry salon car, shot sporadically into the air to scare away the residents.
It was also gathered that some policemen, numbering about three, who had attempted to confront the armed robbers were forced to beat a hasty retreat when one of them was shot.
It was gathered that one of the stray bullets from the robbers hit Taiye who was playing outside. Taiye is currently receiving treatment at the Gbagada General Hospital.
Also affected was another resident of the area, one Abiodun Sikiru, who had hidden inside his car.
Confirming the attack, the Chairman of one of the bureaux de change, Alhaji Jubril Mukaila, lamented the manner of the robbery, saying that one of his workers was shot.
According to him, he and several others had geared up for the business of the day when the robbers stormed the area and attacked them. He said the robbers had accosted him for money and when he hesitated, one of them shot one of his assistants identified as Asumo.
He said: “They riddled my entire shop with bullets and took away all the money in my drawer and then pushed Asumo and I on the floor and carried chairs and placed them on top of us before fleeing. They then robbed my colleagues as well.”
While the robbers were escaping, they also shot a policeman who was stationed at PWD, around the Ikeja railway.
At Agege, stray bullets were said to have hit a young girl in the eye as well as an elderly woman who was resting in her home. Also affected was a vehicle belonging to the Motolani Medical Centre whose windscreen was shattered by bullets from the robbers.
At the Ikeja area of the state, a three-man armed gang also gunned down a policeman and a commercial bus driver on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.
Eyewitness account said the gunmen who had trailed the commercial bus conveying the policeman and other passengers from Oshodi, blocked the bus at Ikeja-Along Bus Stop before opening fire on the policeman and the driver who died instantly. The driver’s death caused the LT commercial bus marked XQ 336 EKY to skid off the road onto the railway track.
However, the gang that operated in Surulere area met its match in the policemen in the area who were able to dislodge them from the neighbourhood.
Attempts to confirm the incidents from the state Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, were unsuccessful as several calls put across to her lines were unanswered.
But the state Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, confirmed the attacks and the death of the three police officers, adding that the situation was under control.
He, however, urged Lagosians to go about their activities without fear as the police would ensure their safety.
He said: “I urge Lagosians to go about their daily activities peacefully because my men are on ground to secure the lives and property of the citizenry in the state.”
According to Manko, the robbery incidents began from Gbagada where the robbers snatched a vehicle from its owner.
He said: “The police got wind of their operation and were chasing them and in the process, two officers were killed.” He, however, could not confirm the death of seven other persons, neither could he confirm the attack on the bureau de change.This Day