By Evelyn Usman
Robbers went on rampage in the early hours of yesterday in Iju-Ishaga area of Ifako Ijaye, Lagos, leaving in their trail the death of a local vigilante man.
However, two of the robbery suspects were reportedly arrested by anti-robbery policemen attached to Iju division.
The bandits, numbering 20, stormed the area at about 2a.m. and attacked residents of Nelson Cole, Iyabo Williams, Alafia and Hope streets. While they were operating, members of the vigilante group were said to have foiled the operation, following the alarm raised.
Unfortunately for one of the guards, identified simply as Matthew, was beaten to death with a stone by the armed bandits at Alafia Street, after several shots fired at him did not penetrate his body.
The robbers were said to have opened fire on sighting policemen. But they reportedly bowed to the superior fire power of the police team as two of them were arrested.
Recovered from the suspects, according to spokesman of Lagos State Police Command, Kenneth Nwosu, were two locally-made cut-to-size guns, live cartridges, charms and ATM cards, suspected to have been stolen from their victims, and substances suspected to be Indian hemp.
Secretary of Alade Olowosokedile Community Development Association, Iju Ishaga, Evangelist Elijah Umoh, said: “I received a call from one of my tenants that he was hearing some noise in the area and that he suspected they were armed robbers.
“We raised alarm. When the robbers discovered that the security men were all over the place, they started looking for escape route.
“Unfortunately, one of the guards, Matthew, who was a member of Odua Peoples Congress, OPC, was killed.
“This is not the first time robbers would storm this community. It happened two years ago during which we also lost a resident.”
He appealed to the state government to do something about its abandoned projects around the area, which he said served as haven for criminals.
The robbers, according to Nwosu, have been transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Sqaud, Ikeja, for further investigation, adding that efforts were on to apprehend other members of the gang who escaped through the canal.