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Armed robbers engage Lagos Police in a deadly roller-coaster show

Bayelsa decides: 30,000 police ,5,000 NSCDC security personnel deployed…Kill ASP, motorcyclist, injure female Inspector

…Mesmerize watchers

By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor

Four years, residents of Lagos, the city of Excellence, have not seen this kind of spectacle. In fact, the emerging scenario was typical of the dreaded era of robbery kingpin Onyenusi who held Lagosians on the jugular for months, killing, maiming and attacking security men freely as the king of the underworld.

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Lekki experience

Such by armed robbers in Lagos was last witnessed more than five years now in Lagos state. Police authorities then were jolted by the temerity of the daredevils who struck in the very busy Lekki area close to the magnificent bridge that links Ikoyi with Lekki. They invaded banks along the water ways from the creeks in the evening hours when people were rushing home after the day’s busy schedules. They released volleys of bullets and carted away millions of naira from the banks after killing many people including policemen.

Enter CP Imohimi Edgal

The operation was such that police authorities swung into action and started raiding all the creeks in Lagos and beyond with a view to stopping such violent raids by the militants who were also kidnapping and killing people at will. While the criminals were at their best elements, posing a great threat to the security of the state, another Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal was appointed in the state. His era witnessed a total clampdown on many criminal activities in the state including the deadly onslaught of the dreaded Badoo cult gang. He recorded huge success.

Now, attack in Ikoyi

Alas, the table turned, last Thursday, in Ikoyi area three armed men operating in a motorcycle brazenly took the bull by the horn and struck in a GSM shop along Adeola Odeku,and tried to shoot their way out of the scene. Reports said that the hoodlums also accosted a man who just withdrew huge sums of money from a nearby bank and forcefully snatched the money from him before attempting to escape. Unfortunately for them, policemen from both Ikoyi division, Onikan and other adjoining areas had converged after receiving information about their operation.

Shootout with the police

Crime Guard learned that as soon as the robbers sited the alert policemen, they engaged them in a heavy shootout while at the same time paving way for their escape in their motorcycle. They were said to be releasing bullets indiscriminately resulting in pandemonium which made it impossible for the police team to meet up with the fleeing robbers. Eyewitnesses said while the robbers who were operating with three motorcycles were busy shooting and maneuvering their way out of danger, they were closely followed by the police. The police team, according to sources, had stern directives to avoid casualties while trying to apprehend the robbers.

Hair raising encounter

Interestingly, it was gathered that the Hollywood and Gestapo styles displayed by the fleeing daredevils baffled a lot of people as they watched and applauded the emerging display of craftsmanship in criminality. A commuter who was inside a commercial bus told Crime Guard that he was nearly tempted to hold one of the robbers on top of his bike. “While we were hearing sporadic gun shots, many people came down from our bus and ran for their safety. I did not know where to run to and I simply stayed by the bus. While I was there, a motorcyclist rode very close to me and if I had known, I would have held him tight. He is lanky and black. As soon as he left where I was, he started shooting into the air. In fact, I nearly collapsed.”

However, the police on their part were professionally targeting them keenly while they meandered through the heavy traffic along their way of escape through Awolowo Way and Falomo area. While this was going on, motorists stuck in the traffic were running helter skelter in order to avoid being hit by volleys of bullet being released by the robbers. Sadly, when the robbers got to a junction near Falomo , they shot an Assistant Superintendent of Police and a female Inspector who were busy controlling traffic.

They also shot and wounded another commercial motorcyclist who ran into their way along the route.

Casualties recorded

Police sources said while they were escaping from Falomo axis, one of them fell off his motorcycle and was promptly arrested while the rest fled through the adjoining bridge and disappeared to an unknown place. The wounded ASP and Inspector were promptly rushed to a nearby hospital where the ASP was pronounced dead while the Inspector is still recuperating in the hospital. The commercial motorcyclist whose identity could not be ascertained as at press time, died on the spot.

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SARS swings into action

Meanwhile, police sources intimated Crime Guard that a crack team of policemen from the Special Anti Robbery Squad has been deployed to the area and beyond to fish out the fleeing robbers. It was gathered that the mysterious way the robbers disappeared around the bridges in Falomo fuelled speculations in security circles that they may not have gone far out of the scene of the attack.

Vanguard

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