Three weeks after armed robbers raided two banks in Ikorodu, Lagos, the same set of bandits may have returned to the same area yesterday, attacking two other banks.
The daredevil robbers even raided a bank in front of a police station and escaped unhurt.
The hoodlums, numbering about 10, stormed Ogolonto in Ikorodu through the water- ways at 9 am, snatched two Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) before heading to a new generation bank.
The bandits who did not steal enough money in the bank, headed straight to an old generation bank in front of the Ipakodo Police Station, holding the staff and customers at the bank hostage for over 40 minutes. Police were said to disappear as the raid lasted.
The hoodlums who were firing sporadically, escaped as they did three weeks ago through the Lagoon.
The robbers repeated what they did the last time, by burning three of their snatched vehicles before escaping through the waterways.
Many people, especially women, were injured during the stampede as people took to their heels during the shooting that lasted for about an hour.
Eyewitnesses said during the shooting, there was pandemonium. Motorists abandoned their vehicles, colliding with one another as they scampered to safety.
A witness, Mr. John Amore told Crime Watch Today that the “robbers were the same gang that came about three weeks ago. They became more formidable and desperate this time around as they robbed a bank in front of Ipakodo Police Station They still escaped through the same way they did previously. They set ablaze three of the snatched vehicles they came with before escaping.
A police source said:” We did not run away as people are claiming. We safeguarded our station and refused to fire at the robbers while in the banking hall. If we had fired at them, we would have succeeded in killing many innocent citizens. We later engaged them in a serious gun duel and due to the superior fire-power of our arms, the hoodlums took to their heels, abandoning their vehicles”
However, residents of Ikorodu have sent a Save-Our-Soul (SOS) to the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kayode Aderanti, to come to their rescue as their lives were in danger.
A resident, Wasiu Ayola, said:” Our lives are in danger. Three weeks ago, it was like a war situation. We ran for cover. Today again, it is the same war situation. Is it how we would be running up and down for our dear lives every three weeks? The Commissioner of Police should do something urgently to save us from the hoodlums who are now terrorizing us.”
The state Police Command’s spokesperson, Mr Kenneth Nwosu, who confirmed the attack, said: “At about 8.30 hours of today (yesterday), some bandits numbering 10, stormed two banks on Ipakodo Road, Ikorodu and carted away unspecified amount of money. The bandits were engaged by policemen mobilized to the scene, forcing them to escape through the Ongin jetty along Kosoko waterfront.
“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command (CP), Kayode Aderanti, visited the scene as well as the jetty from where the hoodlums escaped.
“He later held an emergency security meeting with the police leadership in Area ‘N’ command with managers and security officers of banks operating in Ikorodu.
“Far-reaching decisions towards tackling the menace of these hoodlums were made. Intensive efforts toward rounding up the hoodlums are underway, even as the CP assured the banks of the command’s resolve to ensure the safety of their operations in Ikorodu and indeed the state.
“Three vehicles used by the bandits were burnt under cross-fire and empty shells were recovered by the police. The command will reward anybody with useful information towards the arrest of the bank robbers with N5 million,” Nwosu said.