More than 20 armed robbers invaded several streets at Isale-Oja area of Agege, Lagos State on Sunday morning. In their wake, they left sorrow, tears and blood. The bandits shot dead a father of two and raped three girls.
The daredevil robbers, who started their operation from Capitol Road, raided over 30 buildings in different areas and dispossessed victims of valuables. Residents of some of the streets said the robbers operated unchallenged for hours. They said they called police, but police did not show up until the robbers left.
A resident said that the father of two, Usman Muhammed, 30, would have been alive if but for his attempt to stab one of the robbers. One of the bandits shot him. The bullet which killed Muhammed hit a lady in the compound.
The lady, identified as Rabi, is presently battling to stay alive at a private hospital. Another resident said: “The robbers, numbering over 20, stormed the streets in commercial buses and started operation from Capitol Road.
The robbers killed Muhammed after collecting N32,000 from him. They moved to Akerele and Papa Uku streets in the same community where they raped and robbed residents.” Muhammed’s widow, Hauwa, recalled her husband’s last moments. She said: “About 12:24am, we heard someone knocking on our door. We were surprised.
My husband asked who was there, but the person didn’t answer My husband went and opened the door. He saw the armed robbers. They were four at the door. One of them pointed his gun at my husband. We later heard that others were outside, waiting.
They followed my husband into our apartment.” Hauwa explained that after the bandits gained entry into their apartment, they demanded Muhammed’s money and her own jewellery.
She said: “My husband and I handed over the money and the jewellery. Just as they were leaving, my husband dashed into the kitchen, brought a knife and attempted to stab one of the robbers. It was at that point they shot him in the stomach.” Muhammed’s shooting took place in the corridor of the building.
The bullet killed Muhammed and also hit Rabi who was inside her apartment. A resident said: “We rushed Muhammed to two private hospitals in the community, but he was rejected. He died on the way to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).”
The residents urged the government to do something about security of the area. Mr Kunle Idowu, a resident of Papa Uku Street, said: “The robbers robbed somewhere at Capitol Road before coming to our street. My house is close to the main road.
The robbers were fully armed and came prepared. They called names of prominent people in the community. They said they came to collect what belonged to them. We couldn’t sleep. It was like a war zone. Every tenant lost one or two of their valuables.
“Three of our girls in the community were raped when the robbers could not get anything from their parents. Government should come to our rescue. We can’t walk freely at night.” A resident of Akerele Street said he was angry with the police.
According to him, when they got wind that the robbers were around, they quickly called the phone number of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Isoko Police Station, but the police did not come until the robbers left. When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Joe Offor, said he was not aware of the incident.