Five arrested, several wounded as police engage thugs in Satellite town shootout
Five persons described by the police as ‘members of a ‘terrorist gang’, were arrested at the weekend during a shoot-out with operatives in Satellite, Lagos State.Police authorities said several others were injured, while property destroyed by the bandits was over N50 million.
The Divisional Police Officer, Satellite Town Police Station, Chike Oti, a former spokesman in Lagos State Command was said to have led some police operatives to dislodge the hoodlums. Five of them were arrested.Although, the identities of those arrested were not disclosed yet, but a police source at Area E, Command FESTAC town said that the hoodlums were allegedly being controlled by a traditional ruler who had constituted himself as a lord in Satellite town.
Police said that properties destroyed included a Warehouse situated at No. 470 Old Ojo Road, Lagos as well as trucks and cars parked by the side of the road when the hoodlum invaded the quiet community at the weekend.Detectives disclosed that the presence of the hoodlums, numbering over 100 caused pandemonium in Satellite Town, as hoodlums attacked residents, destroying property worth over N50million.
A resident, Uche Ezeudo, said the hoodlums numbering over 100 allegedly overpowered the police who came to rescue the victims. He noted that the heavily armed thugs reportedly invaded a warehouse situated at No 470, old Ojo road, Lagos, belonging to pioneer movie- maker, Igwe Gabosky Okoye and looted property, which included electronic sets, assorted drinks and sports equipment.
“We later learnt that the hoodlums were sponsored to destroy warehouse belonging to Igwe Gabosky for failing to pay N15million demanded as settlement for the said property. All attempt to show them his Federal Government valid Certificate of Occupancy (C OF O) Number 23/23/77 registered at federal land registry, Lagos since 1995 fell on deft ears,” he added.
He said that the hoodlums arrived the area mid-night, on Saturday and that effort to get police to stop their activities failed.Another resident, Kareem Oseni, Secretary Landlord Association of the area said that the gang continued demolishing the large warehouse and carting away valuables like assorted foreign and local drinks, electronics, pumping machines etc till early Sunday morning.
When contacted, owner of the warehouse, Okoye lamented that all efforts he made to alert the police failed because the gang had been terrorizing not only residents of the community and environs but security agents too.According to him, they looted shops, extort money, snatched bags and phones in broad daylight while at night from 5.pm, they transformed into an armed robbery gangs attacking motorists and commuters.He said: “They are a cultists as well as a terrorist group which if not controlled now would be worse than Boko Haram in future. They have seized various properties from owners, which served as hostels for their large number of thugs, armoury for their weapons and burial grounds for their unlucky victims.
“Commercial motorcycle operators, tanker drivers and commercial bus drivers are afraid of them as they unleashed mayhem on any one who dares them. Businesses and business premises in satellite and environs are at their mercy. The thugs said to be from one family in satellite town can invade any business premises or residential property and demand for any amount and give the occupants a time frame to pay or face the consequences of not paying or delay in payment” he stated.
Police Investigation revealed that road users and vehicle owners have suffered different ordeals in the hands of the thugs.A resident who craved for anonymity for security reason alleged that the thugs are not afraid of police and will openly boost of their supremacy above the police. He revealed that they have equally dealt with policemen who dared to come for their arrest after a complaint.
“No police station will send their men to any of their camps,” he said.When newsmen visited the area, it was not possible to move into the town as fierce-looking thugs armed with different dangerous weapons were seen parading the streets while information revealed that they have continued demolishing the warehouse with a view to reducing it rubbles.It was further learnt that last week, a team of over 100 policemen carried out a special operation in the area with a view to arresting the thugs in the area but they were openly confronted and even held hostage for hours by the heavily armed thugs.
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