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Okada robbers on the prowl in Lagos

By Albert Akpor

The spate of armed robbery attacks by men in commercial motorcycles popularly called Okada, has become a source of concern to Lagos residents.

These seeming faceless armed gang who normally ride between two and three on a particular motor bike, always strike even before their victim (s) and security operatives get to know.

The situation has assumed a frightening dimension with residents calling on the the state commissioner of Police, Yakubu Alkali and Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola to urgently rise up to the challenge.

Crime Guard investigations revealed that these bandits who carry out discreet survey of the area before they strike do not only arm themselves with guns and other dangerous weapons, they also carry long and sharp scissors with which they briskly cut the handle of the victims’ bag and zoom off even before an alarm is raised.

It was learnt that these men of the underworld operate freely without the police and their victims having knowledge of their nefarious act. Areas like Surulere, Anthony village, Apapa, Ikeja and Mafoluku have continually witnessed the menace of these daredevil robbers.

Three weeks ago, a Police Sergeant attached to one of the commercial banks along Ogunlana Drive Surulere was shot dead by two armed men who rode on an Okada while fleeing a scene where they had robbed some Bureau de change operators of unspecified amount of money.

Prior to that bloody operation, Crime Guard scooped that a similar incident happened along the Ikorodu road by Anthony bus stop where a Lagos socialite and politician was double-crossed while on a gridlock, shot point blank, his windshield shattered and a brown brief case in his boot was snatched away.

His remains was later evacuated from the scene by policemen who watched helplessly while the operation lasted. At Apapa Division, an unnamed business woman who had gone to withdraw some huge amount of money from a bank on Warehouse road was ambushed while the handle of the bag which contained the money was cut with a sharp scissors and taken away.

Eyewitness said the woman who also rode on a motor bike to avoid the menace did not know that the two occupants of an oncoming bike were men of the underworld.

“They simply rode close to him, and before you know it, they brought a long sharp scissors and slashed the handle of her hand bag and zoomed off.” Social joints are constantly being raided by these Okada armed robbers who usually take their victims by surprise.

A victim of these Okada robbers who identified himself as Mr. Ismaila Ayeni, a professional taxi driver told Crime Guard that the experience is horrible. He said he decided to relax at a drinking joint at about 7.30pm somewhere in Mafoluku; having toiled the whole day adding, “I had barely settled down to gulp the first glass of beer when I saw two Okadas with some small small boys roaring that everybody should lie down and we all obeyed.

They collected all our handsets, money and even went into the beer parlor, collected all the proceeds from our sales for the day and zoomed off in their get away Okadas before even policemen could arrive.

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