…As robbers escape into crowd in shootout with police
By Evelyn Usman
LAGOS—A notorious kidnap kingpin, popularly called King Solomon, alleged to have been responsible for the abduction of several residents of Festac Town in Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos and environs, has been arrested by police in Lagos.
One of his victims, as gathered, included the female Customs Officer attached to Tin Can Command SDV, a bonded terminal of the Nigeria Customs Service, who was abducted in the presence of her two daughters at an eatery on 22 Road, Festac Town, last December.
Other victims include a pastor of a Pentecostal Church in Festac, identified simply as Pastor Nwachukwu, and two traders at Trade Fair.
The suspect, whose real name is Chukwudi Solomon, used his apartment on 46 Canal View Road as a den, where abducted victims were kept.
Vanguard gathered that he was traced by undercover policemen from Festac Division, led by the Divisional Police Officer, Chief Superintendent Olukole Oladeinde, Tuesday night.
On noticing police presence, Solomon, as gathered, attempted to stab the DPO, but was overpowered.
Three suspected members of his gang, who also attempted to prevent his arrest, were apprehended by policemen, who had cordoned off the building, while two abducted victims were rescued.
During interrogation, the suspect revealed that some of his members, who had gone on a kidnap operation, were coming with a victim yesterday morning.
Police sources further hinted that the suspect had several boys under his control, with members of other kidnap gangs bringing abducted persons to his apartment.
Confirming the incident, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Fatai Owoseni, said: “Police undercover agents have been working on information about this suspect.
“One of the victims rescued was traced to his house, which served as haven for criminal activities and den where kidnapped victims around Festac Town are kept.”
Police foil robbery
In a related development, policemen from Denton Division, yesterday, foiled a robbery operation by a gang that has been terrorising residents of Iponri, Ebute-Meta area of the state.
The hoodlums, as gathered, were on the verge of carrying out an operation when policemen swooped on them. On sighting the policemen, the robbers opened fire as they ran into a crowd, abandoning three of their operational vehicles.
When searched, an AK-47 rifle, with 22 rounds of ammunition, three magazines, a revolver and charms, according to Mr. Owoseni, were recovered inside the abandoned vehicles.
Owoseni said: “The robbers fired sporadically and escaped into the crowd. We were careful not to shoot so as not to harm innocent people that were used as human shield. On our part, we will not rest on our oars.”