By Robert AKPAN, Senior Investigator Reporter, Lagos.
THERE is palpable indication that dare devil armed robbers who had hitherto fled Lagos State and environs as a result of the onslaught on them by the immediate past headship of the Police are staging a full come back in spite of the spirited efforts and crime fighting strategy emplaced by the present Commissioner of Police CP Muazu Zubairu and his management team; as the evolving indices clearly indicate. This hardly a day past without incidents of armed robbery attacks on hapless Lagosians; dispossessing them of the valuables including cash. Just yesterday, at about 10pm, the Crime Editor of The Guardian Newspapers, Mr. Odita Sunday was attacked at the front of his office at Toyota bus stop along Oshodi/Apapa expressway by a gang of six armed robbers who attempted to snatch a branded vehicle belonging to Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria CRAN from him. A terrified but determined Odita who is incidentally, the President of CRAN sources said, rushed into his vehicle having known the psychology of bandits and zoomed off anyhow; but not without machete cut injury on his thigh and losing a few naira notes and other valuables to the hoodlums.
The Inspector-General of Police IGP Muhammed Adamu had during the last meeting with his AIGs and CPs admitted the upsurge in crimes and criminality blaming it on the immediate past political activities and entreated on the officers to ensure that adequate measures were put in place to ensure the safety of lives and property in their respective zones and Commands.
Speaking to CrimeWorld in a visibly shocked and post traumatic stress Disorder voice, Odita said, “It was traumatic and as I am talking to you now I can still see the mental picture of what I went through. It was around 10pm when I got to the front of my office there at Toyota bus stop in company of two of my clolleagues, people were still moving and without an inkling of any danger lurking, I made to enter my vehicle having worked several hours, all of a sudden, I saw some guys walking furiously towards me; as I tried to enter my vehicle which incidentally was our association vehicle, two others had blocked me; before I could say jack everything I had in my pockets was gone. they grabbed my breast pocket, insisting that I must part with all that I had including my phones, meanwhile, I had thrown my two phones inside the car. I jumped into my vehicle screaming thief, thief, but no help came. In spite of the fact that I was speaking Igbo language with them because that was what they were speaking to let them know that we are from the same place, they chase after me, smashed my vehicle with God knows what, but I managed to zoom off anyhow not minding where I was racing to. It was later that I discovered that I had been inflicted with injury. I thank God that they didn’t fire at me because they had guns and other dangerous weapons.”
Frantic attempts to get the reactions of the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer DSP Bala Elkana proved abortive as calls put across to his line rang out.