Robbers Sack GTBank, Zenith, Kill Mother and Child in Gruesome Lagos Raid
Daredevil armed robbers in the early hours of Tuesday laid siege to two commercial banks, GTBank and Zenith International Banks in Festac area of Lagos and in Gestapo style looted both banks, injured customers and left in their trail a dead mother and child who were hit by stray bullets.
The raid further confirms our survey that crime is in its ascendancy in Lagos area since after the elections.
The robbers stormed the area at about 8:10am, holding customers and residents hostage for over two hours. They reportedly accessed the area through the canal on Fourth Avenue and successfully carried out their operations.
According to residents, the police were nowhere to be found during the over two hours the robbery lasted and only surfaced when the bandits had left.
During the operation which lasted hours, a two-year-old baby identified as Mmesoma Ndirika, and her mother, Jane, who were inside their apartment in an adjoining building, were hit by stray bullets from the bandits dressed in full military camouflage. Both mother and child later died from the gun shots.
It was gathered that while some of them escaped through the same canal, others drove through the 23 Road, shooting sporadically.
A resident, who identified herself as Ify said that the sporadic gunshots frightened them such that they all went into hiding.
She said those doing their routine physical exercises along the road went into hiding.
“The road is empty at the moment. Everyone is hiding now. The gunshots were scary. They escaped through the canal and through 23 Road. The police did not show up while the robbery lasted,” she said.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Joseph Offor, confirmed the incident, but said he could not give further information.
However, the Area Commander, Festac and former Force spokesman, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Frank Mba said: “Today, the 13th of October, 2015, at about 8:25 am, the command received information of sporadic shootings going on somewhere around 4th Avenue, Festac town, Lagos. The joint team of policemen at Area E headquarters, Festac Division, promptly responded to the crime and on arrival at the scene, the policemen engaged the gang of robbers numbering well over 40, all dressed in military camouflage and armed to the teeth in a gun battle.
“We engaged them in a fierce gun battle that lasted several minutes. Not withstanding the clear numerical disadvantage of the police at the beginning of this operation, the hot exchange of fire between the policemen and the robbers who incidentally, had divided themselves into two and were simultaneously robbing two banks, forced the robbers to immediately end their operations. They, consequently, abandoned their operation and also abandoned the sum of N27 million. As they were fleeing, they left a total of 240 AK47 live ammunition, and left the scene with money stolen from the bank. The money was later recovered by the policemen and taken to another branch of the robbed bank around 2nd Avenue, for deposit.
“The CP and other police stations around Ikeja were immediately informed of the operation but my men were sent earlier to see what was happening already. The CP, Fatai Owoseni, while regretting this incident, vowed to do everything humanly and operationally possible to make sure that the perpetrators of this crime are rounded up within the shortest possible time and brought to book.
“It should be noted that within the two banks, nobody died. One person sustained a minor injury in one of the banks and the person is adequately responding to treatment. On our part and that of the law enforcement agency, no injury, no death recorded. We heard about the two-year-old child and her mother who were hit by stray bullets. We are working on that. We are trying to liaise with the police to currently locate the girl and her mother and make sure that they are taken care of. A massive operation is currently going on and if there are other pieces of information that are not available now, we would make sure that we alert the press too.
“Preliminary information shows that they came in through the waterways and they equally exited through the waterways, because there is a canal very close to the area where the robbery occurred. The Marine Police have been involved in tackling the activities of hoodlums in waterways and their operations spread from Badagry to Epe to Lagos Island, Oshodi to Ikorodu and every water side area. But, you must equally understand that if the waters are not deep enough, we would not carry out such operations.”