Metro & Crime

Lagos: Robbers in Army uniform invade Ikeja

Suspected armed robbers, who dressed in Army uniform, invaded three streets at Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos State. The robbers were said to have started their operation from Gbemisola Street from where they moved to Adeleke and Ogundana streets. They vandalised vehicles parked on the streets. The robbers were said to have operated for one hour on each of the streets without any security guard challenging them. They also damaged some brain boxes and other vital parts of the vehicles. Mr. Lanre Felix, one of those whose cars were damaged at Ogundana Street on August 30, said he was sleeping in the car with one of his friends when the robbers arrived.

He said: “I was preparing to start work for the day. It was about 5am, I wanted to take my client to church on the fateful day. A few minutes after I parked my car, suddenly, I heard someone hitting the body of my car and asking me to come out of my car.

They said they were policemen. After I opened the door, I asked them what my offence was. “When I opened my car door, what I noticed was that they were wearing Army uniform. But what they told me before I came out of my car was that they were policemen.

One of them told me to run because they were armed robbers but they didn’t come for me. “Immediately, I left my car and ran to a safe place, where I started shouting and calling on other residents that thieves were in the estate. As I was shouting, one of the armed robbers started shooting at me.

“Where I was hiding, I saw them vandalising my car. When I eventually came back after they had gone, my car brain box, money, car stereo and two phones were carted away by the armed robbers. It is God that saved me, I would have been dead by now.”

Felix said after they had gone, he reported the matter at Area F Command, while the victims from Gbemisola and Adeleke streets also came to report their own case too. A barber, who identified himself as Sonny, said it was an unfortunate incident. According to him, Ogundana is a busy area on Allen, they have not witnessed such an incident on the street before now. He said: “We have more vigilantes now. The incident has taught us that it is not everybody who wears a military uniform or a police uniform that is a real officer.”

When our correspondent visited Gbemisola and Adeleke streets, about 10 cars were said to have been vandalised by the robbers. Another resident of the area, Mr. John Oboh, said the suspected robbers started their operation from Gbemisola Street before moving to Ogundana Street.

He said: “The robbers scaled the fence to enter our house. After ransacking everywhere, they went to where a Toyota Hiace bus was parked and removed what they wanted from the bus and came out through the gate. Thank God nobody was attacked.

“They locked the two security guards protecting our street and the other one from Adeleke in the security post and took the key away. That was how they were able to operate successfully without being challenged. Nine vehicles were vandalised in our street, while one was vandalised at Adeleke Street.”

Meanwhile, the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of Gbemisola Street, Mr. Balogun Damola, said it was an unfortunate incident. According to him, they have not witnessed such a thing in the area. The CSO said on the fateful day, he was sleeping when one of the security guards locked in their security post called him on the phone that armed robbers had taken over the community.

He said: “Immediately, the treasurer and I came out. But before we got to the place where they were robbing, they had gone. I was the one who opened the door for the security guards to come out of where they locked them. “But the security guards couldn’t say how the armed robbers came into the community. The robbers started their operation from our street.

“They removed some cars’ batteries, brain boxes, plugs, lights and some other valuables, before they locked up our security guards inside their post. They beat the guards blue and black. I am appealing to the commissioner of police. I know he is trying, but I want him to send his men to patrol our area at night to forestall such incidents again on the street.” The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Bala Elkana, could not be reached to confirm the story. His phone was switched off.

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