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Robbers take over Ibadan communities, others

By News Express on 19/02/2017

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.Oyo State Police Commissioner Sam Adegbuyi.
.Oyo State Police Commissioner Sam Adegbuyi.

Residents of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, now live in fear as bandits are literally on the loose in the ancient city.

Wielding lethal weapons, the robbers have been laying siege to most neighbourhoods, breaking into homes, carting away invaluable items and inflicting bodily harm on their victims.

The armed robbers invaded the neignbouhoods in large numbers at dusk, unleashing terror on hapless citizens and raping women.

Some of the victims that narrated their ordeals to Sunday Tribune said the criminals  often operated at will and returned the next day or a few days after their initial operation, to raid homes for hours.

Most affected areas are Felele, Idi-Ope, Imalefalafia, Molete Ibadan Grammar School area, Amuloko, to mention a few.

At Adeyemo area of Ehin Grammar Molete, Mrs Bolatito Gbolasanmi said her home had been raided thrice in two weeks, and she now sleeps at friends’ houses.

“I am traumatised. When they first came in December, they stole all electrical gadgets, phones, laptops and cash, about N27,000 from us.

“A few days later, they came back. This time, they stole my daughter’s wristwatch and brand new phone. She bought it two days after their first visit. My daughter does not sleep at home again after the second operation. After the first raid, which was last Wednesday, I have also stopped sleeping at home,” she agonised.

At Felele during the week, three robbers armed with cutlasses and bottles, forced their way into five rooms in a house and robbed all the residents of their money, phones, laptop, I-pads, rechargeable lamps, power banks, modem and jewellery. Another victim told Sunday Tribune he was only lucky not to have been macheted.

“Two of my neighbours received machete cuts for not having enough money on them, while another had his ear slit as one of the robbers felt offended that he had only N200,” the anonymous victim said.

Also at Felele, one of the victims, who craved to remain anonymous, recounted his experience thus: “At about 1.30 a.m., I was awoken by the beam of the torch of the armed robbers that pierced through my window. They had come into my compound climbing over the fence. They were not afraid of being interrupted in their one-hour long operation by any security agent, bragging and making noise by shattering windows of occupants.

“After damaging the windows, the three robbers armed with cutlasses and bottles, cut door keys, broke doors and forced their way into five rooms in my house. For each of us, they ordered us to surrender our money, phones, laptop, iPads. They also made away with rechargeable lamps, power banks, modem, and jewelry.

‘I was one of the few lucky ones who did not receive a machete cut before they left my room. Two of my neighbours received machete cuts for not having as much money as the armed robbers wanted. One of my neighbours had his ear slit as one of the armed robbers felt offended that he had only N200 after they had ransacked his room.

“A lady, who was robbed only escaped being raped after she removed her panties to show the armed robbers that she truly was on observing her menstruation. The armed robbers who came in by jumping over the fence left through the main gate at about 2.30am.

“When we got to the Felele Police station to report the incident, we met two others, who reported robbery incidents that occurred over the course of that same night,” he said.

At Alpha Grace Estate Jericho, armed men in the early hours of Friday, broke into more than eight houses, carting away valuables worth millions of naira.

The incident was promptly reported at the Eleyele Police station, but by the time the officers arrived, the robbers had escaped. Not up to 24 hours after the first raid, residents were still trying to come out of the shock, when another case of burglary was reported in a house.

The occupants of the estate now live in fear of more robbery attacks.

The police command, Eleyele, while addressing victims, assured them safety, promising to apprehend the robbers.

Also, the neighbourhood of Alakija Street around Imalefalafia, Oke-Ado area of Ibadan, in the early hours of last Wednesday trooped out when some vigilante members raised the alarm of two young men suspected to be thieves and eventually captured only one, while the other ran away.

The suspects were to have been terorising the vicinity for days before nemesis caught up with one of them.  According to one of the security guards, the suspects had stolen cables and other valuables things weeks back, but came back to steal more valuables.

The suspect, who claimed to be a scavenger, was beaten and eventually handed over to the Orita Challenge Police command unit.

However, when contacted by our correspondent, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Oyo State Police Command, Superintendent of Police, Adekunle Ajisebutu, dismissed the surge in robbery rate. “There is no increase in robbery incidents recently in the state,” he said.

“In truth, there is a slight reduction in incidents of robbery in the state compared to the past when hoodlums held sway. This is largely due to revamped and re invigorated security strategies put in place by the police strategies such as routine stop and search, intensive vehicle patrol, intelligence-led raid of criminal hideouts etc make it difficult, if not impossible for perpetrators of criminal acts to get away with their nefarious acts. And this is why a few of those hoodlums have been arrested and paraded recently.

“Pockets of robbery incidents in some places in the state would not amount to high rate in crime if you juxtaposed with what happens in other states. The state is unarguably one of the most peaceful states in the South West in particular, and Nigeria in general.

“The police haven’t relaxed, and will never rest on their oars in fighting crimes and criminality in the state. This resilience and determination has resulted in the arrest lately of some robbery suspects currently under investigation. We shall brief the press soon about the outcome of our investigation,” Ajisebutu stated.

However, the PPRO admitted that there could be room for improvement.

Source News Express

Posted 19/02/2017 09:11:01 AM


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