Fresh facts yesterday emerged about the Wednesday robbery attack on four banks at Ipakodo, Ebute-Ogolonto in Ikorodu area of Lagos State by a 19-man-gang.
This came as the banks yesterday commenced repair works on the doors, walls and other sections destroyed by the robbers. Also yesterday, there was heavy presence of policemen around the affected banks.
In the attack, the robbers carted away millions of naira and inflicted gunshot injuries on civilians. However, a police source said that the supposed ‘lady,’ who led the gang, was actually a male member ‘who loves keeping long hair’. The gang leader also had bullet belt across his body instead of the alleged life snake some people claimed was on his neck, according to the source. The leader also wielded a general purpose machine gun.
“People have been saying and writing a lot of things, but the truth is that it was an all-male gang. The ‘lady,’ like other members of the gang worn camouflage uniforms. It was because of his long hair and slim built that most people mistook him for a lady,” the source said.
The source also said the robbers who raided the four banks on Wednesday were part of the same gang which raided two banks at the Ijede area of Ikorodu three weeks ago. It was the same gang which stormed the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) on Admiralty Way at Lekki area on March 12. In that operation, the robbers killed three policemen and a girl hawking fish.
The gang’s modus operandi had always been to sneak into targeted areas via water, use explosives to blast open bank doors and vaults and to escape through water, using speedboats. These facts were however gotten by detectives attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja, Lagos State Police Command from a member of the gang, identified as Duke Odogbo, 38.
Odogbo, still in the custody of SARS, was among the 13-man-gang of robbers who attacked the bank on Admiralty Way in Lekki. Days after the robbery, SARS operatives arrested him along with Lawrence Kingsley, 31, Ebi Tosan, 20 and Ekelemo Kuete, 30.
They were arrested in Delta, Ogun, Ondo and Lagos states. In all the bank robberies, witnesses had always mentioned a daring female gang member. It was, however, Odogbo, who told detectives yesterday that the gang leader flaunting long hair was actually a man, not a woman.
The police source said: “It is the gang members of Odogbo that went for the Ijede and Wednesday bank robberies at Ikorodu. When Odogbo was arrested, other gang members were not arrested. The gang regrouped and is behind the Ijede and Ogolonto bank robberies.” After attacking two banks at Ijede, the robbers were playing music from their cars and dancing for not being challenged by the police. They later escaped through the waterway.
“We have recovered a number plate of one of the Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs). Most believed that the cars used in Wednesday’s operation belonged to them, but it is not true. “In the Ijede operation, they stormed a shop of a car dealer, snatched two cars which they used in the operation. On Wednesday, someone radioed the police that his car was snatched. The number plate belonged to the caller.
The robbers also used two unregistered cars yesterday. We believed they snatched the vehicles from a car dealer just as they did in the Ijede robbery,” the source added. Miffed by the robbery, the Lagos State Government said Governor Akinwumi Ambode’s administration would not condone security breaches in the state. After a meeting with transport unions, the government also gave commercial motorcyclists also known as okada riders, 21-day ultimatum to vacate all the 450 restricted routes in the metropolis.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Tunji Bello, said there was no need to panic as the robbers only capitalised on the transition period to strike. Bello, who chaired the meeting with the union leaders, said that government had decided to give the riders 21-day ultimatum for the unions to sensitise their members to vacate the restricted routes before enforcement would begin.
Source: Leak Times
SHARE . COMMENT