PEOPLE BEWARE!!! (Patrick Nsionu).
Lagos Robbers Change Tactics
P.M. News (Lagos) June 29, 2001
Posted to the web June 29, 2001
Lanre Babalola, Gabriel Orok & Femi Adepoju
Police authorities in Lagos have alerted members of the public that some people, who pose as taxi cab drivers around the Muritala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos are armed robbers. P.M.News investigations revealed that some of these drivers now attack their foreign customers or serve as fronts for armed hoodlums. Based on this discovery, the airport police have beefed up security to arrest the situation.
P.M.News gathered that the major targets of these robbers behind taxi cab wheels are foreigners who visit Nigeria for the first time or for various business transactions. Statistics at the airport revealed that within the first quarter of this year, over ten foreign businessmen have been lured into robbers' dens by cab drivers. Recent cases include the attack on a Chadian who arrived the Lagos Airport for a business transaction.
The Chadian, who was identified as Alhaji Hamza Abubakar, was said to have boarded a taxi cab with registration number FL 970 KJA at the airport on arrival. On his way to Ikoyi, the taxi driver complained of a fault in the vehicle along IBB Bridge. While the driver pretended to be checking what was wrong with the vehicle, armed hoodlums emerged from the Oworonsoki end of the bridge and dispossessed him of 350 dollars, his international passport and other valuable items before escaping. Preliminary investigations by the police implicated the driver who was trailed to 51 Thomas Street, Alagbado.
Police sources disclosed that the suspect has made confessional statement that could lead to the smashing of a robbery syndicate which specialises in attacking innocent travellers. It would be recalled that last week, six Chinese nationals who came to Lagos to instal a manufacturing machine were attacked at Agro Sack Guest House, Oregun. Police sources revealed that the Chinese were victims of a taxi driver who brought them from the Murtala International Airport to the guest house. Similarly, armed robbers have extended their operations to Maryland area of Lagos where they have operated twice in the last five days.
P.M.News gathered that the robbers first visited the street where the home of Gen. Oladipo Diya (retd) is located in Maryland area last Friday at about 12 midnight. The robbers operated successfully there as the needed help from the police did not come, even though residents informed the police of the attack while it lasted. Basking in the euphoria of the success of that operation, the robbers moved further down the same street to the heart of Wasimi Village in Maryland. Their desire to force their way into a 3-bedroom apartment located beside the Wasimi Village traditional chief's home failed.
Another attempt was made Wednesday night and they succeeded in robbing a groom-to-be of his entire savings, forcing him to alter his marriage plans. The victim, simply known as John, an employee of the Central Bank of Nigeria had brought home some money in the evening, preparatory to his wedding ceremony billed to hold soon. His entire money said to have been kept in a Mr. Biggs bag were taken away. Already, residents of the area have formed a vigilance group which now keeps vigil in entire area throughout the night.
Armed robbers, numbering more than seventy, invaded the premises of motor manufacturing giants, Boulous, in the early hours of Thursday, carting away more than N2.4 million. P.M.News gathered that more than 13 security guards of the company located on Acme Road, Agidingbi, were seriously wounded in the raid. The robbers were said to have arrived the company around 2 a.m. and immediately proceeded to the Security Department. Eye-witnesses told P.M.News that the robbers entered the manufacturing plant and tied up all the workers on night dirty. "There was confusion as everybody was running helter-skelter. You couldn't identify a security staff from a robber as they (robbers) were wearing our uniforms", said a staff of the company. Some of the workers, who attempted to challenge the robbers received machete cuts on their bodies as those they thought were their colleagues turned round to attack them.
About two and half million naira meant for the payment of workers' salaries got carted away by the robbers. The money, we gathered, had already being packed into envelopes when the robbers came calling. When P.M. News visited the company, blood stains were seen at various spots in the premises. . Some of the staff interviewed expressed the belief that the attack was the handiwork of some retrenched staff of the company in collaboration with others. It was learnt that the company recently sacked 30 per cent of its workforce.The injured staff of the company are now receiving treatment at a private hospital in Ogba.
Copyright © 2001 P.M. News. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).
ADDENDUM by Patrick Nsionu, New York, July 1st, 2001.
I was a victim myself on Oct. 20th, 2000 at 8.30 pm. They followed me from Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja (without my suspecting) to Surulere and then struck. I lost all my essentials, including my International Passports, Return Tickets, Cameras, Hand Luggage and an indefinite (in fact, indescribable) amount of money, meant for my Mom's Funeral and individuals' messages to their families. It was the nightmare of the millennium. In fact it was a real millennium bug that was almost relative to IBM losing their database to some elusive cyber-hacker. However, the only good thing was that they respected my life and did not touch it. And, I thank them for that, after giving THANKS TO GOD. Honestly!!! - Patty Nsionu.