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How 50-man robbery gang raided Apapa

Posted by By Albert Akpor on 2007/02/26 | Views: 836 |

How 50-man robbery gang raided Apapa

THE relative peace and serenity in Apapa, the thriving seat of national and international commercial activities in the country, was punctured penultimate Thursday by a gang of 50 heavily armed robbers.

THE relative peace and serenity in Apapa, the thriving seat of national and international commercial activities in the country, was punctured penultimate Thursday by a gang of 50 heavily armed robbers.

The hoodlums who were confident of themselves reportedly arrived the community in posh cars including jeeps three days earlier during which they had ample opportunity to socialize as well as understudy the terrain properly.

Curiously, this particular armed gang exhibited rare gait in their modus operandi. An eye witness said whereas the robbers moved almost in unison, savouring all the exotic clubs and hang-outs in Apapa and its environs, "they were calculative, well dressed, fluent in English language, moved around with the prettiest ladies and were well behaved....

They were unruffled." So, even when they finally struck starting from one of the popular Bureau De Change and club outfits, their commander, said to be clad in Army camouflage, was busy dishing out orders of "donít take innocent lives, we are not here to kill, but to take what belong to us. Don't panic, no policeman will dare come close here... we are in charge. Remember don't kill anybody."

Having successfully raided choice outlets, the psychedelic armed men reportedly made for their main target - AfriBank on Kofo Abayomi Way. All the while, the staccato sounds of assorted fire power rented the air and the robbers seemed to be enjoying their art. They had successfully burrowed into the banking hall using three giant sized sledge hammers and welding equipment when the blaring of the Police Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) siren overwhelmed the entire area. But the robbers were unperturbed as they continued their nefarious activities, frantically determined to get to the vault of the bank. When the heat from the Police side was getting unbearable, the hoodlums reportedly came out en-mass and engaged them in a fire-for-fire battle; and on each occasion taunting the Police to retreat or have themselves to blame. "Leave us alone, we are not for you, we have come to take our own share of the national cake...but if you insist, we shall be forced to come all out for you," taunted the commander.

But the confidence of the Police knew no bounds as the dreaded APC was on the lead. The stage was reportedly set and the armed robbers left their primary assignment to cart away millions of naira from the bank and the entire Apapa was turned into a theatre of war. For four hours, there was fierce crossfire between the Police and these dare- devil bandits. But the Police, basking in the euphoria of the newly acquired APC and a combined team of anti- robbery squad from MOPOL 22, Apapa Division led by the DPO, CSP Mohammed Ali, resolutely advanced ferociously towards the hoodlums.

In the ensuing crossfire, one of the robbers who drove the jeep was gunned down. Another who was among those who had laid ambush waiting for the Police advance team at the end of Kofo Abayomi Way, was equally gunned down with the aid of the APC. But before he breathed his last, he was picked up by the Police team. Aware that the game had transcended a childís play, the robbers concentrated on the APC and succeeded in demobilizing it. Nevertheless, they beat a retreat and hurried out of the scene taking along with them some of their wounded colleagues. Recovered from the scene of the gun battle were three giant sized sledge hammers, three gas cylinders, welding materials, over 500 expended shells, eight magazines, one coaster 18-seater bus and a Nissan jeep.

Reacting to the gun battle and the foiled robbery, the Divisional Police Officer, Mr. Mohammed Ali said though the robbers actually meant business, but the Police rose to the challenge.

"The hoodlums were over 50 and they were well prepared and they meant business. Look at what we recovered from them and the expended shells. These are the ones we were able to pick from them let alone the ones they fled with. Can't you see the gas cylinder, the sledge hammers and the caliber of magazines they had on them? But we defied all these and advanced towards them. I led the APC and you can see that we were able to get two of them. One died on the spot while the other was arrested alive with bullet wounds in his head. He has been taken to SCID Panti by the raiders team to see if he can survive; you know he can help us to track down fleeing gang members," he said.

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