By Evelyn Usman
Gunmen, in the early hours of yesterday, stormed a church’s premises at Oke-Ota community in Ibeshe area of Ikorodu, Lagos, and shot dead six members of same family.
The victims comprised a man identified as Mr. Celestine Nwokoye, who was a taxi driver at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, his wife and four children, among who was an eight-month-old baby boy.
Circumstances surrounding the incident could not be immediately ascertained as the Lagos State Police Command said it was still working to unravel the cause.
Vanguard gathered that the assailants announced their presence with sporadic gun shots. While some made straight for the apartment occupied by the Nwokoye family, others stood outside, waiting for any intruder.
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Vanguard: “It happened while everyone was asleep. While the gun shots sounded, we all concluded they were robbers.
“I even brought out the only N3,500 I had at home, placed it on the table with the intention of giving it to them if they break into our apartment. I told my wife and children to hide and never come out should the thieves enter our apartment.
“It was after we were sure that they had gone that some people went out, only to find Celestine and every member of his family on the ground.
“Celestine was shot on the neck and stomach. His eight-month-old baby boy was shot in the stomach, the bullet hit his three-year-old son in the ribs, while his wife was shot in three different places, including his two daughters.
“Celestine and his sons died on the spot. But his wife and two daughters were still breathing. They were rushed to the hospital where they were confirmed dead. Nobody knows what would have warranted such tragedy that wiped out an entire family.”
Spokesperson for Lagos State Police Command, Dolapo Badmus, when contacted, confirmed the incident.
She said: “There was a report that one Celestine Nwokoye attached to the taxi park at the Lagos airport and all members of his family were found in pools of their own blood.
“The command is working assiduously to unravel the occurrence. We have a lead we are working on and we are optimistic that there will be a breakthrough.”