Thursday, June 25, 2015 7:12 am
A young lady said to be about 20 years old led the Rambo- style robbery of two banks in Ikorodu town, West of Lagos State, Nigeria yesterday.
About 16 bandits were said to have been involved in the attacks at about 9 a.m that affected Zenith and First Bank branches at Ebute-Ipakodo area of the industrial town.
At least N100million was carted away by the robbers, with Zenith alone losing no less than N80 million.
Although a police station was located opposite one of the banks, there was no policeman in sight to challenge the robbers.
Also missing in action were naval policemen usually available at the jetty nearby. The the robbers escaped with their loot, by boat and used the jetty to board the boat.
The dare-devilry of the attacks on the two banks had similarity with another robbery at Lekki Phase One in Lagos on 12 March. The robbers who assaulted First City Monument Bank, escaped through the lagoon.
Four persons, including a teenage apprentice vulcaniser, simply identified as Rilwan, were injured by the robbers in Ikorodu.
According to a Punch online report, they were said to have opened fire at the Ipakodo police station to scare the officers, after which they proceeded with their operation.
The robbers used dynamite to shatter the rotor doors of the two banks to gain entrance and order members of staff and their customers to lie down.
It was gathered that some of the gunmen were outside the banks firing into the air for over an hour.
Some security operatives, comprising policemen and soldiers, arrived the area around 1.30pm, at least three hours after the robbers had fled.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has urged residents of the state not to panic as the Governor Akinwumi Ambode’s administration will crush and flush out robbery in the State.
Secretary to the State Government, Tunji Bello said there was no need to panic as the robbers only capitalised on the transition period to wreak havoc.
“This is a transition period, look at Boko Haram, they have come back because it is transition period. The RRS new boss just resumed, some people are just exploiting that period to get something on time.
“There is nothing to panic about, we will respond, don’t worry, we will respond very well, so I am not afraid, they are just exploiting the transition period, it is not just in Lagos, it is every where, we will respond appropriately and there is nothing to worry about,” he assured.
But residents of Ikorodu have a different idea. They want the police in Ikorodu to live up to their responsibilities.
The residents said instead of doing what they were employed for, the police go about looking for young boys carrying bags to harass and arrest them indiscriminately just to extort money from them.
Agubuto, an angry commentator in one of the online news portals, wondered why the police are always found wanting whenever incident like this happens.
“Where was Nigeria Police Force then? Are they not there at Ikorodu? The next thing they will do is to run to the street and start arresting innocent citizens and collecting money from them before giving them bail. This is just too said,” he said.
Also reacting to the robbery attack, the police on its Twitter handle, @PoliceNG said: “Our officers are responding to armed robbery at Ikorodu, Lagos. Citizens are advised to stay off vicinity; Lagos now secured after our officers responded to bank robbery this morning. Police units remain on ground.”
Heavily armed robbers had also on Tuesday, June 2, 2015 laid siege to three banks in Ikorodu town in Lagos. According to eyewitnesses, the deadly raids were coordinated by a woman who was seen giving orders to her gang members during the raid.
The attacks led to the death of two persons and an unspecified amount of money running into millions of naira carted away from the banks.
Those who witnessed the raids say the woman who wore army camouflage carried two guns and stood at the front of the gang, directing them into the banks and was also the one who fired intermittently in the air to scare away people.
It was gathered that the robbers snatched two vehicles, including a Lexus Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and drove towards Ijede, a remote part of the town, after the operation.