Police closing in on Agbara robbers after gang leader’s arrest

Gunmen-kill-five-policemenTHE police are confident that they are closing in on the remaining murderous armed robbers that invaded Agbara Estate early on Thursday last week after their leader was arrested at the weekend in Sapele, Delta State. He was held at a get-together where he was spending money lavishly.

All of weekend, he was being interrogated. Police sources said last night that he had given them useful information. The manner of his spending attracted the police. In the encounter to arrest him, one policeman was shot dead, bringing to two the number of policemen who have died from the incident. Two others admitted at LUTH were said to be responding to treatment. One of the two was shot in the back during the robbery. Police said three of the robbers escaped with serious bullet wounds and they are asking hospitals to alert them in the event they show up seeking medical attention.

Police had laid siege in Lagos believing that the robbers who came using an engine boat had been marooned on the Atlantic Ocean. All through the afternoon on Thursday, a police helicopter hovered over the Estate and the ocean, in search of the robbers. The robbers had plied their boats through Ilase River, a tributary of Ogun River which runs its course on the eastern side of Agbara to empty into the Atlantic Ocean, aborting Agbara Estate, Ijanikin and Morogbo and stretching its measureless expanse to the historical town of Badagry.

The hustle and bustle which is a feature of Bank Road in Agbara Estate has not, as of the weekend, quite returned after the armed men turned the road into a theatre of war on Thursday. Police sources said many of the banks will open today, Monday. On Friday, practically all of them shut their gates to customers. Only their security men were at the gates turning back customers.

Police sources said normally when there is an incident of this nature, banks close for a week to allow for thorough investigation and see that the situation has returned to normal and confidence of the staff has been regained.

The robbers shattered the bustle when they broke into Zenith Bank, a leading new generation bank, carting away an unspecified sum of money. They came battle ready numbering about 45. Many of them were in the familiar Army camouflage uniform and police uniform with one in a light blue Air Force rating dress. A majority of the others wore assorted T-shirts and tied black scarves round their heads as well as black arm band. Some strapped chain bullets on their bodies. Those that approached the bank disguised as customers, hiding their weapons. And all of a sudden, without warning, a cacophony of bullets rang out in bursts of deafening gunfire. A hail of bullets flew freely in all directions, what many eyewitnesses palpably shaken, described as an attack better experienced than described. All fled predictably in different directions heading for nowhere in particular, for safety.

Workers in offices instinctively dived for cover, lying flat on the floor of their offices. A lady working in one of the companies said, “It was a war; I have never seen a thing like this. They turned this part of the Estate into a war zone.” She went on, “When I say war, it was war!”
A mobile policeman on duty at the bank was shot dead. Two other regular policemen were also shot, one in the back and injured critically.

Police sources said they were responding well to treatment. Several other people, customers and passersby were shot deliberately or hit by stray bullets. One of these was an expectant mother shot in the leg. Bullet holes dotted walls of company buildings because the robbers shot aimlessly even during their confident, leisurely exit from the Estate, putting four cars carrying their loot in the middle of their procession, daring whoever wished to face them. They shot at the tyre of a police armoured personnel carrier stationed to ward off any such security challenge in the Estate and its environs which police said they used to battle them.

The robbers used what many believed to be dynamite to tear down the electronically powered glass entrance door and the wall of the Zenith Bank. The door of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) which the armed men also attempted proved explosive-resistant and indestructible. They left GTB, another leading new generation bank, but not without shattering its glass door, to concentrate on Zenith Bank, obviously their target in the first place.
On Friday, although practically all the banks were closed, the PHCN offices opened and several cars were parked in front of the building. The commercial motorcycle and tricycle operators were also back at their beat.

The siege was the first ever in the 37 years of the high brow Estate inhabited mostly by company executives and university lecturers. It is normally a serene leafy environment, a haven, with lawns to sober the minds and refresh tired bones after the day’s hardwork. It is also renowned for giant trees which birds naturally make their undisturbed habitation. The most notable elite school on the Estate is Corona which attracts students from several parts of the country.

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  • Omooba

    May God give us a proactive Police that will always nip crimes like this in the bud and not REACT all the time when so much damage has been done. It is a shame as worse situation could occur tomorrow. It is better we don’t have them around and everyone on to him/herself with a gun.


    God help the Nigeria police to get all those killers of Joy in our society,now urgently IJN,Police can now redeemed their once disputed creditability,by doing the needful,i.e without compromosized

  • Ade_O

    Based on the pervasive level of dishonesty among us, it will be important that the Police should prove, beyond any form of doubt, that the person being paraded as the armed-robbery gang leader, indeed led the Agbara operation. It will be too naive to take their words for it on this matter.

  • Ben F

    If I own a Bank, nobody, repeat, nobody will be able to take one Naira out of my Bank by force, for I will give them triple fire
    for fire. It is time for our security forces to use their common sense and know that the only advantage anybody who wants to attack you has is not fire power but the element of surprise. Surprise those who want to surprise you, that is, get ready for the surprise, and you win.
    From Kenya to the United States to France to Agbara Estate, they all make the same mistake, with all their ‘Security Experts’ that talk big big grammar on TV. Place INVISIBLE AND ARMOURED SNIPER/FIRING POSTS inside and outside all attack-able public places and any attacker will get the surprise of his or her life before he or she can even touch the trigger. If there had been snipers in that supermarket or in that University in Kenya where terrorists massacred people, they would have been stopped in their tracks. If there had been snipers in the Charlie Hebdo compound and in those other places recently attacked in France, those terrorists would not have been able to kill so many people. If there had been snipers in the Agbara Zenith Bank to release the same type of hail of bullets the armed robbers released, they would not have been able to get into the Bank.
    Let the banks foot the bill, they have the money, and work with the Police or private security to have HIDDEN and
    SURPRISING fire power in their premises.
    It is a laughable pity to see armed Police or ‘security men’ standing in front of a premises with the rifle hung over the shoulder or sitting down with the rifle on their laps, sometimes dosing off with giant flies buzzing into open mouths (That´s right! I have seen it happen). They are just sitting ducks in such positions, waiting for the armed robber to appear
    from nowhere and shoot. Armed security men MUST BE MADE INVISIBLE AND SURPRISE READY in any premises they guard. Only that way can they prevent the loss of their own lives and those of the community they are protecting.
    Bank robberies are becoming too many and too ridiculously successful in Nigeria that one is tempted to ask: Are these robberies staged by some big guns in power? Are these robberies inside jobs? Are the Banks robbing themselves? Why are all the cameras inside and outside those Banks not capturing any armed robber faces?