•Police desert community
•Accusing fingers point at retired top police chief
By Emma Nnadozie
Indications emerged, over the week, that the suspected mastermind and leader of the gang terrorizing Satellite town and suburbs in Lagos state has resurfaced, few days after he fled their criminal den following a police swift operation that led to the arrest of about 40 persons suspected to be members of the notorious gang.
The alleged mastermind said to lay claim to the leadership of Oguntade community in Satellite town reportedly re-appeared just few days after a team of policemen stormed his notorious enclave but failed to arrest him and his commanders said to be his sons.
It was learned that he escaped on a motorcycle towards Badagry-Seme axis, few minutes before the police team stormed their den.
Residents of Abule-Ado, Vin-Niger, Abule-Osun, some parts of Trade Fair, Mile 2 and Festac town had constantly complained about the ceaseless attacks. extortion, forceful takeover of their hard-earned property, torture, intimidation and harassment by thugs led by the kingpin.
His thugs reportedly parade the areas freely armed with dangerous weapons without fear of security agencies.
Investigations revealed that they had subjected truck and tanker drivers who are members of Nigeria Union Of Petroleum, Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG to untold hardship by attacking their base at Abule Ado, extorting money from them and killing them.
This ugly development, according to sources, resulted in series of petitions by NUPENG to the police and other relevant authorities, pleading to be saved from the criminal activities of the thugs but all efforts failed as the thugs operated as if they were above the law.
The thugs were said to have subjected both the police and officials of Oriade LGA to undue harassment, intimidation and humiliation without the authorities fighting back.
Twist in number of arrested suspects
Last week, the police in Lagos swooped on them after they attacked and wounded some residents of the area and truck drivers at Abule-Ado.
The police team succeeded in dismantling and capturing their den and announced that no fewer than 40 of the suspected thugs were arrested after the dawn operation.
Sources, however, intimated that when the case was transferred to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department, SCIID, Panti, Yaba, only three suspects were presented as culprits.
One of the suspects was later identified as a member of NUPENG and a victim of the terror gang.
Accusing fingers point at a retired top police chief
When Crime Guard visited the area during the week, some of the residents and truck drivers who spoke under the guise of anonymity for fear of being attacked alleged that the hands of police were tied over the matter because of the terrorist had the backing of a retired top police chief who would come to their rescue each time they were arrested.
It was further gathered that each time the police in Lagos swung into action; the retired top police chief would quickly intervene thus making it virtually impossible for both the kingpin and members of the notorious gang to face the law.
According to one of the truck drivers, “this recent explosion at Abule-Ado should be well investigated because we all have the feeling that members of the gang can do that after they were flushed out from their den at Oguntade village by the police.
“If the police and other security agencies fail to check the excesses of these thugs and charge their leader to court for all the atrocities they have committed using ownership of land as a guise, we all should be ready for another Boko Haram insurgency in Lagos”.
Meanwhile, reports said that immediately after he re-surfaced at their den, the kingpin organized his thugs and they invaded the base of truck and tanker drivers armed with dangerous weapons including cutlasses, broken bottles and stones, unleashing terror on people.
As at press time, the police had not intervened while the victims were living in constant fear.