By Samuel Peters
January 12, 2011 was just like any other day to four agile policemen attached to Alade Police station, Shomolu in Lagos State. They were on their routine night patrol around the nooks and crannies of the area with their senior colleague, a Sergeant, in control.
In fact, the policemen were not envisaging any immediate problem but they were however, very conscious of the fact that surprises might spring up from any corner. Hence, they were not only at alert but poised to respond to any eventuality.
However, on getting to Oando Filling Station, close to the roundabout at Folagoro Street at about 12 midnight, the unexpected happened.
The policemen saw about four vehicles packed around the roundabout with some boys standing beside the vehicles. In their wildest imagination, they did not suspect that the boys could be armed robbers. The reverse turned out to be the case as the boys sprang a big surprise and frontally attacked the Policemen.
They reportedly pumped volleys of bullets into the patrol car forcing the unsuspecting policemen to scamper for safety. In fact, bullets from the rampaging dare-devils pierced the sole of the shoe of one of the police Corporal later identified as Ella Adi from Benue State and ended up injuring him on the right foot. The rest members of the team ended up in the nearby gutters with bruises while the armed robbers fled from the scene.
Police sources told Crime Alert that as soon as the robbers fled, Corporal Adi who was the only wounded person was left writhing in excruciating pains at the spot. It was gathered that only one of his colleagues came back to render help. He lifted him with a motorcycle to the nearby General Hospital in Shomolu where he was admitted.
Relations of the wounded Corporal intimated Crime Alert that the Police officer nearly died from loss of blood because he could not raise money immediately for his treatment. The relation who identified himself simply as Ben,said, “As soon as we were alerted, we all rushed to the hospital thinking that he was dead. Luckily, when we got here, he was alive but in a very bad condition. All efforts we made for him to receive treatment urgently failed because we had no money.
Unfortunately, nobody from the Police was willing to raise the money required for his treatment. It was his wife that quickly ran around and raised some money that made it possible for the treatment to commence. Another officer who was later said to be the Divisional Police Officer helped too. But that was all we could get from the Police he claims to be working for. So far, he has spent two weeks in this hospital and he is still in pains with no money for hospital authorities to continue treating him”.
When Crime Alert visited the hospital, the ailing Corporal refused to talk, to the consternation of his family members who insisted he bore his mind. The light complexioned officer who was seen shifting from one side of the bed to the other because of the pains he was going through. Pleading on his behalf, Ben said all that was needed was money for adequate treatnment of his brother, in order to save his life. So far, the relation claimed his brother had spent his life savings in treating his wounds.
Investigations by Crime Alert later revealed that the robbers that nearly snuffed life out of the policemen were on the spot to attack a popular Restaurant and Night Club along the area. The robbers as gathared, had earlier exchanged fire with a team of mobile policemen on guard in the area. Unable to match the fire power of the policemen, the robbers were said to have retreated,only to resurfaced before the arrival of the unsuspecting patrol team.
It was also confirmed that during their encounter with the Mobile Police team, one of the criminals was shot but they all managed to escape. So far, Police sources said that a crack squad from both the anti-robbery section at Shomolu and the dreaded Special Anti-Robbery squad from Police Headquarters in Ikeja have swung into action and are combing all the nooks and crannies of the area in search of the fleeing armed robbers.