…we have made arrest – Police Spokesperson
By: Okosun Dennis
The time of their operation is timeless, limitless and unsure but their operation is with precision.
They swoop on passengers with alacrity and accuracy, by the time they are done, it leaves the victim with unsavoury comments.
One-Chance robbers have invaded Sangotedo – Ajah road like a behemoth; with sundry attacks and loss of valuables within the last three weeks.
It was gathered that the criminals use Suzuki bus popularly known as (Korokpe); a bus transit that sits seven passengers, which recently replaced tricycle along Ajah-Epe expressway.
Apart from their recklessness and vulnerability to accidents since they became operational in 2019, they are dubious for engaging in criminal acts and could escape easily without been caught.
Investigations revealed their mode of operation
It was learnt that they mostly operate between Sangotedo, Oko-Ado, Olokonla, Alashia, General Paint bus stop through to Abraham Adesanya Estate Roundabout, where most of their heinous acts terminates. By extension it was further revealed, their spread their nefarious acts to Abijo, Awoyaya Lakowe, Bogije and even Eleko in Ibeju-Lekki.
Reports has it that their operation is limited to times when there is free flow of traffic where they could easily escape after dispossessing a victim. Such times is timeless as traffic could occur anytime of the day.
However, our correspondent was told that they mostly operate in the early hours of the morning, midday or late in the evening when traffic snarl up is at its lowest ebb.
Narrating his odds, a victim who was dispossessed of his phone valued over N40,000 painted a gloomy picture of how he was smartly and cleverly outsmarted by the criminals.
Oguefi explained that he boarded the Korokpe bus at General Paint bus stop going to Ilaje. A distance of less than five minutes drive without traffic.
“I wanted to sit at the front which was vacate but they told me someone in front would sit there. I entered without the least suspicion that they were thieves.
“Also, I forgot my phone was inside my trouser pocket. The moment the guy that sat beside me had succeeded in relieving me of the phone, they announced discontinuing the journey and asked us to come down. They immediately sped off before I realized they had taken my phone.
Unfortunately he added, “there was neither a motorcycle or available bus to pursue them. That was how I saw them drove off with my phone, the victim told our correspondent.
Also narrating how he was robbed of his phone was a retired Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) who preferred anonymity.
“I boarded Korokpe bus at General Paint bus stop going to Ajah to sought out some few things. I had no premonition that something was going to happen nor suspected the occupants of the bus were robbers.
“Soon after we set out and had hardly journeyed 200 metres, the driver announced that he was terminating the journey for lack of passengers hence I had to disembark. Immediately, he sped off and almost instantenously, as they drove off, I realised my phone in my pocket had been taken. I stood transfixed not knowing what to do, he pointed out.
When asked how he felt or has been coping without a phone, he added “I have not been able to retrieve my line since these days as I was asked to come back in the New Year. There is nothing I can do than to wait but if peradventure, I am unable to retrieve it due to ongoing NIN link, I wouldn’t disturb myself again.”
However, the luckiest among those that have been attacked was an old woman from Delta state. Unlike the first two victims who were attacked in the afternoon, her attack took place early in the morning on her way from the church vigil that ended in fasting and praying.
“I entered the bus at Sangotedo to Ajah but midway into the journey, I never knew that the boy that sat beside me had a gun while the one behind, had a knife. Suddenly, the one behind brought out a knife while the other brought out a gun.
“I was calm without uttering a word as they swiftly collected other passengers’ money, phones and other items. Then, one of them reached out to my bag which I held tightly with my phone to my body. One of them shouted: “Fire, she has fire in her head. Don’t take anything from that woman or we will all be in trouble. He has fire on her head. Let her go.
“That was how they left me without taking anything from me and they quickly allowed us to disembark and they sped off towards Abraham Adesanya Estate Roundabout. It was only God,” she acknowledged.
Within Lagos metropolis, especially immediately after the #EndSARS protect that was hijacked by hoodlums, Lagosians have been living in fears with sundry armed robbery attacks and burglaries in several homes in recent times.
About two weeks ago, on a Sunday in one of the estates, a pastor’s house was burgled while he was away to church with members of his family. The criminals had broken his fence before gaining access into his house through one of the windows before turning the house upside down, making away with valuable items, our correspondent was told by the victim.
When contacted to react on the proactive steps taken to ensure that the illicit attacks from One-Chance robbers are nabbed in the bud, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Olumuyiwa Adejobi Police said that “the Command has been on the trail of these hoodlums who venture into one-chance.”
He added that, “We have arrested a large number of them and our vehicles are positioned at strategic places across the state and have also intensifed vehicular patrols.
“We are out and ready for them. Those arrested are in state Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Panti, and we would still continue to arrest them until they desert Lagos State for us,” SP Adejobi reiterated.
Recently, men of the Nigerian Police, Lagos State Command raided some hots spots in November across all the Area Commands arresting about 720 suspects.
However, as Nigerians, particularly Lagosians steps into the New Year, 2021, it is hoped that the police and other security agencies would be able to thwart the ferociousiness and sundry bus attacks and burglary in homes and shops by robbers in the new year.
It is only when that is done and other kidnappings in the state is arrested that people would begin to sleep with their two eyes closed. At the moment, it is not yet Uhuru