Saturday, 3 November 2012

Day robbers dared police in Somolu

It was a subdued Sallah celebration for residents living of Somolu, Lagos, last Friday as a group of robbers chose the day to invade the community.
Armed men numbering about 20, in the wee hours of Oct. 26, stormed Fola Agoro Street. They stole two vehicles: a black Murano jeep with registration EC 480 GGE and a red Nissan Quest with registration number XM 03 SA.
 The robbers invaded a building on Balogun Street, the same street where Alade Police Division is located, beat and robbed its occupants. The robbers were then said to have moved to Anifowoshe Street, which is just behind the police station, attacking another house before shifting to Awoseyin Street.
Occupants of No. 41 Anifowose Street were said to have attempted to repel the armed robbers, but they were compelled to surrender to the intimidating fire power of the robbers. An occupant popularly known as Olomi sustained some gunshot wounds in the process.
At NO. 32 Awoseyin Street, a building housing several one-room apartments, was broken into and all its occupants robbed.
An occupant who identified himself simply as Deinde said, “I heard a loud noise in the middle of the night and came out to ask what the problem was because I actually thought the people were policemen. Instead, I came face to face with the robbers.
I just turned back, ran and scaled the fence into the next compound. My uncle who had just returned from a trip from England was asked to produce the dollars he brought. He told the robbers that he travelled at the behest of his children to rest and gave them the small amount he had in his purse.”
A female occupant of the same building was also alleged to have lost her jewellery, phones and money to the robbers.
While the robbery at House 32 was on, some of the gang members were at No 27. A commercial motorcyclist lost N15,000 to the robbers and was beaten to a pulp. Crime Digest learnt that the group went from room to room, shouting at occupants to open up or face their wrath.
At No. 4 Awoseyin Street, the robbers startled a couple who had just welcomed a new baby to their home. Despite pleas from Mr. Akinkunmi Afolabi that his wife had just put to bed, the robbers insisted that the nursing mother lie on the floor with her children while they went ahead to beat the husband at gunpoint.
The 72-year-old landlady of the house was very lucky. The robbers met her saying her morning prayers and on account of that, she was spared when she said she had no money to give. At that time, it was almost 4.20 am.
CRIME DIGEST investigations showed that despite the proximity of the affected streets to Alade Police Division, no help came from the police until the robbers left the community.
The robbers were said to have cut short their operation when they were stopped by a newly erected gate at Petit Dahoh Street, which links Morocco Road. The group abandoned the stolen vehicles there after offloading the loot they could conveniently carry.
Last week, Saturday Punch reported the release of two suspected armed robbers –Yesiru Adesanya and Okanlawon Oluwawere –from prison remand. The suspects were said to have stormed the Somolu community in company with about 98 other suspected criminals, robbing and looting at random.
A resident told CRIME DIGEST that robbery incidents in Somolu had been on the increase.
“Since last Tuesday, robbery is now an everyday incident at Somolu and the police do nothing other than to harass and arrest innocent persons after the robbers have gone. I even learnt that a police anti-robbery team had stopped the robbers while they were driving in the two vehicles they had stolen. But they let them go under the guise that nothing incriminating was found on them,” the source said.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ngozi Braide, was not available for comments when she was contacted by CRIME DIGEST.

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