Fear grips Lagos residents amid rise in traffic robbers
NEWS DIGEST – There is palpable fear by road users in Lagos over the upsurge in the operation of traffic robbers who have taken advantage of gridlock caused by road construction workers and tanker drivers along major routes.
Chief among the roads where the hoodlums operate are on top of the Apongbon Road bridge, Ikorodu Road, Oshodi-Anthony axis, Oshodi-Isolo expressway, and Mile 2-Ojo expressways, among others.
Irrespective of the time of the day, hoodlums have now taken it as a daily activity to attack vehicles and rob the occupants of their belongings. Only a few are often lucky to escape unhurt without losing any valuables whenever they strike.
During the Yuletide, two journalists working with The Guardian, Stanley Akpunonu and Ngozi Egenuka, were attacked by armed robbers who dispossessed them of their valuables at Cele Bus Stop on the Oshodi-Apapa expressway.
The duo said they were beaten with cutlasses by the robbers numbering five, while some others also brandished guns before carting away two Android phones, one iPhone, cash and a laptop, all worth over N300,000.
However, the Lagos State Police command has reiterated its commitment to eradicate traffic robberies in the metropolis. The state’s police boss, Hakeem Odumosu, said this yesterday at the command headquarters, Ikeja, while addressing officers, men of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) and other operational units who are deployed at strategic places across the state to fight traffic robberies.
He emphasised the need to adopt various anti-crime strategies in combating the menace, which must not be allowed to jeopardise the security network of the state.
In his brief, the Commander of RRS, CSP Yinka Egbeyemi, confirmed the arrest of 13 suspected traffic robbers by the operatives on Wednesday, while lurking around Motorways, Old Toll-Gate and Olusosun dump site in Ojota.
The suspects are Akeredola Taiwo, 33; Oriyomi Solola, 28; Olanrewaju Sikiru, 25; Hakeem Ridwan, 22; Joseph Ovie, 33; Muhammadu Aminu, 32; Monday Nweke, 35; Emmanuel Anthony, 24; Onyeka Muoghara, 40; Salaudeen Rilwan, 32; Kayode Dele, 31; Silas Manner, 27 and Favour Elijah, 26.
“Some of the suspects were caught red-handed while taking drugs in their hideouts around the axis, others were recognised by residents and eyewitnesses to have been involved in some of the previous traffic robberies and other crimes in the area,” Egbeyemi said.
The Commissioner of Police ordered that the suspects be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) for proper investigation and possible prosecution.