July 20, 2013 – Armed Robbers Attacked Ajao Estate In Lagos; Police Killed 7 In Robbery Attack
Almost one week after daredevil armed robbers stormed Ajao Estate, a highbrow area close to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, in Lagos, residents are still in shock.
They have every cause to. This is because they experienced war, as armed robbers and policemen engaged themselves in a firefight, which lasted for about 45 minutes non-stop. By the time the dust cleared, both sides suffered casualties.
Daily Sun gathered that in the early hours of Sunday, July 14, a group of armed robbers, had attacked a warehouse on Awoniyi Elemo Road, in Ajao Estate, where imported mobile phones, laptops and other ICT products were stored the previous day.
The robbers had arrived at about 11.45pm on Saturday and shot their way through. They were said to have broken the warehouse and started carting goods into their truck. Sources said that before the robbers could conclude their mission, a detachment of policemen from the Mobile Police (MOPOL) unit and state Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) arrived and confronted them. A gun duel had ensued.
The robbers were said to have fled the scene and were pursued by policeman. After the confrontation, two policemen were gunned down as well as five members of the gang. Two other robbers were arrested. When Daily Sun visited the warehouse attacked by the robbers within the week, the place was under lock.
Marks of bullets on the wall were noticed. A resident, who simply identified himself as Michael, told Daily Sun: “It was like Armageddon. It was as if there was war. I was sleeping when I was woken by sound of gunshots. I was confused and got up. My wife started shouting at me and asked me to lie down because of stray bullets. Ajao Estate has been relatively peaceful in recent times.
Therefore I was surprise to hear such continuous gunshots. “I learnt the robbers came in their numbers with AK47 and started shooting when the policemen guarding the area open fire at them. They shot one policeman and attacked the warehouse, which belongs to one of the biggest dealer in phones and laptop in Nigeria. If not that the police engaged the robbers in a shootout, perhaps, the hoodlums would have extended their attack to other houses around the area. I must commend the effort of the police.”
Another resident, Johnpaul Ojemba, who likened the gun duel to war, said: “It was as if my building was going to collapse. I live very close to the scene. When I started hearing gunshots, I was very happy that the police was on ground, but I became y jittery when the gunshot could not stop.
The gun battle lasted for over 45 minutes. In fact, it was a real war. “I thank God that the police succeeded in chasing them away. I was later told that only one person died during the encounter.” He however, robbery attacks in the area to the activities of operators of a smoking joint in the area. “This road is known as a spot where illicit drugs are sold.
They sell marijuana with impunity and I guess that the robbers maybe patrons of the joint and therefore, knew the terrain.” He appealed to the police to be more proactive rather than reactive, saying that he suspected that the robbers may still come back to the area.
Another resident, Bose told Daily Sun that as when she started hearing gunshots she feared that the deadly gang, One Million Boys, had stormed the estate.
“I have heard so much about the boys and was scared that they may be the ones that attacked the warehouse. I thank God that the police repelled them.” A recharge card seller in the area lamented that she had been robbed severally, in her shop. She revealed that the warehouse had been attacked once and goods were carted away. She suspected that it may be the same gang that earlier attacked the warehouse that came back.
“Last week, they robbed me at gun point at about 7.30pm. This is why I no longer stay late at night. I am not surprised that they came because strange faces have been patrolling this area in recent times. We need a stiffer security measure to stop further occurrence,” she stated. Another resident, Adeleke, whose house is a few poles from the warehouse said: “This is not the first time. They usually visit in groups.
Last month, they were at Osolo Way and it was terror all the way. The police saved us from being killed by the men of the underworld. It was a sad experience. The shootout was terrible. It was more like a battle field, but I thank God that the police were able to stop them.”
A policeman with the SARS told Daily Sun that the hoodlums killed two policemen, while police killed five of them. he revealed that another two robber were arrested. The policeman revealed that one of the arrested suspect had confessed that the gang was responsible for the killing of a hotelier and four other staff in Ajah recently. He explained that when information got to the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko, around 12 am that morning, that armed robbers were attacking a businessman, he ordered the officer in-charge of SARS, Abba Kyari, to go after them.
He said Abba Kyari and his team stormed Ajao Estate and engaged the robbers in a shootout, in the estate and Eko Bridge, as the robbers were fleeing. “The shooting at Ajao Estate was a child’s play compared to what happened on Eko Bridge, as the robbers could the police fire power. They started jumping inside the lagoon.
We killed five, arrested two and about three others jumped into the lagoon,” he said. CP Manko, while confirming the incident, commended men of SARS for successfully putting the robbers in their place. He also called on Lagos residents to give information about criminal activities in their areas.
[Culled from Daily Sun]