Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ngozi Braide
By Chiemelie Ezeobi
Barely four weeks after the armed robbery operation that shook Lagos, a four-man gang Tuesday raided the residents of Abule Onigbagbo Estate, off Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja, Lagos shooting a Man-O-War official, Michael Ekwueme, in the process.
The robbers, who held the entire area hostage, whilst the operation lasted, were said to have robbed one of the houses at Shogunle Street located within the estate. Meanwhile, Ekwueme was rushed to Eko Hospital for treatment.
THISDAY gathered that although the robbers had carted away valuables worth millions of naira from the victim’s house, they did not shoot any of the residents expect the Man-O-War official stationed at the gate of the estate.
Some of the estate residents, who spoke to THISDAY under strict conditions of anonymity, said the robbers may have acted on a tip off going by the way the entire operation occurred.
According to them, the robbers had stormed the victim’s compound in broad daylight armed with bags to cart away their loot which included money, jewelleries, shoes, laptops and other valuables.
Narrating his ordeal, the victim, simply identified as Omololu said the robbers had stormed their house at about 7:30am demanding to see his wife.
He said: “The four men had knocked on the gate demanding to see my wife. When the security man inquired from them the name of my wife, they could not say but again demanded that they speak to my house help.
“Because they got her name correctly, the security guard called the girl to open the door. Immediately she did, they entered the house. To prevent the security man from raising an alarm, he was tied up before they entered the main building.
“It was shocking to say the least because the robbers were specific about so many things including where my wife worked. In fact, they were relaxed throughout the operation as they even drank my wine.”
He said while others were waiting in his house, one of the robbers carted away their loot to their getaway car at the estate gate.
However, eyewitness account said the robber was accosted at the gate by the security guard and the Man O War official as to the content of the bag. He was arrested when he could not give a reasonable answer.
While taking the arrested suspect back to the victim’s house, the three other robbers were said to have spotted them and released hails of bullets to scare away the guards and residents in the area.
According to them, “The guards were able to arrest one of the robbers because he was not armed. However, his colleagues saw what happened and shot bullets into the air to scare us off. One of the bullets hit the Man O War official.
Having scared away people, the robbers made to escape through the gate but were engaged in a bitter gun duel by some group of policemen on patrol. One of the robbers was reportedly gunned down in the gun fire but others escaped.
Attempts to confirm the incident from the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ngozi Braide, proved abortive. However, a police source who spoke on condition of anonymity said the robbers might have successfully carried out their raid but for the patrol team.