Kidnappers invade Isheri in Lagos again, kill three, abduct estate’s secretary
• Ambode orders prompt arrest of suspects
• Police vow to fish out culprits
It was like an Armageddon in the wee hours of yesterday when over 20 gunmen, some of them dressed in army camouflage, stormed the Isheri North Estate, Lagos State and kidnapped the secretary of the community association, Mr. Dayo Adekoya.
He was abducted by the heavily-armed bandits around 1:00a.m. after they opened fire on the community for close to two hours.
According to an eyewitness, the abductors gunned down three estate security men as they attempted to prevent the gunmen from escaping with the kidnapped estate secretary.
The Lagos State Police Command, however, yesterday vowed to arrest the suspected kidnappers, who killed the three estate security guards and abducted Adekoya.
Yesterday’s incident came barely four months after about four landlords were abducted by gunmen from the area. It was gathered that the gunmen arrived the quiet estate around 1:00a.m. through the waterways in three speedboats.
As soon as they arrived, they headed straight to the home of Dayo, forced their way into the compound and dragged their victim out. As at the time of his abduction, the victim was said to be dressed in his night wear.
An eyewitness said they were woken up by the noise caused by sporadic shootings in the area. The witness said he learnt later, after the shooting had ended that someone had been kidnapped.
Another eyewitness, who identified himself as Dare Omilani, said from the look of things, the suspects had intended to abduct more persons. He said some of the gunmen were stationed at different locations, while others headed for the homes of those they had allegedly penciled to be kidnapped.
“We were preparing to go to bed when I heard the first gun shot. I was still trying to find out where the sound came from when the air was rented with bullets.
“I rushed into my sitting room, where my kids were still watching a late night movie. I quickly turned off the television set and asked them to lie flat on the floor. My wife started to pray fervently. I asked her to keep quiet so that the gunmen wouldn’t identify our house. The shooting stopped hours later,” he added.
According to the estate resident, “when I came out of the house around 4:30a.m., I saw some people at the gate. As I attempted to go out, my wife pulled me back, demanding to know where I was going.
“I went out through the back door and as I approached the gate, I saw blood stains on the walls. I was told later that three of our security men were killed in the shootout. I thought that they were thieves, but later found out that Dayo had been abducted. This is the second time such violence would happen in this estate in less than four months,” he said.
He further disclosed that the sporadic shootings occurred between 1:00a.m. and lasted till around 3:00a.m. when the gunmen left.
“Some of us had to hide our children under our bed. It was, indeed, like a scene from an American movie. From the way they operated, it was obvious that they knew their way around the estate and they knew the houses of those they came for. It was the alarm raised by the guards at the gate that distracted them,” he said.
Another source claimed that as soon as the armed men got to the main gate, they opened fire into the security post, killing three of the guards on the spot. “They fired into the security post because the guards refused to open the main gate to allow them access.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has already directed the Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Fatai Owoseni, to move decisively and promptly to arrest the kidnappers.
Ambode, according to the statement, specifically commiserated with the families of the security guards that lost their lives to the unfortunate incident, and assured that government was on top of the situation and working with security agencies to ensure early release of the victim.
Ayorinde said: “A while ago, the CP of Lagos Command of the Nigeria Police, confirmed that police have commenced investigation as well as put in place necessary rescue operation to ensure the release of the victim.
“While the state government commiserates with the families of the three dead estate security guards, it will leave no stone unturned to ensure that lives and property of residents in the state are protected.”
It would be recalled that last week, the governor demonstrated his determination to eradicate the menace of kidnapping when he signed into law the anti-kidnapping bill recently passed by the state House of Assembly.
The law imposes a penalty of life imprisonment on kidnapping for ransom and death penalty in the event of death of a kidnapped victim.
Lagos State Police Spokesperson, Dolapo Badmos, who confirmed the incident said the Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, has already visited the estate and had conducted an on-the-spot assessment of the incident and has assured the residents of police protection.