by Isi Esene
Reports say armed robbers in Lagos have devised another means of perpetrating their acts by disguising as beggars to steal from motorists.
Sources say the robbers target lone occupants of posh cars to dispossess them of their valuables. The robbers mostly demand smartphones, laptops, money and anything that catches their fancy.
They usually wait for the rush hour when there is high traffic build-up to start their robbery operations. According to reports, most of the robbers are usually armed with shotguns and crude weapons like knives.
Areas like Mile 2, Coconut and Apapa, all on Oshodi-Apapa Expressway are locations notorious for such robberies.
Lucky Uduikhue, a managing director of an ICT firm said he has been a victim of such robberies multiple times.
He said, “For many months now, motorists who drive through Mile 2 lose valuable items to robbers. As from 5pm, they have become kings of the road. Funny, they pretend as people begging for money but they end up robbing motorists of their valuables.
“If one fails to give them money, they would break one’s side screen and take whatever they lay their hands on and flee.
“This is a daily occurrence starting from Otor Wharf to Mile 2 Bridge up to Mile 2/Oshodi junction. Their target is always on big money, phones and laptops and they focus on big cars and vehicles whose drivers are alone. I have been a victim several times.
“I have reported several times to the policemen on duty at the Mile 2 bridge and have also called 112 police emergency number for the same complaint with both the police and the receiver of the police emergency number promising to take urgent action, yet nothing seems to have been done as the hoodlums are still operating uncaught and unhindered.”
Another victim of the robbery trend, Jonah Okorie, narrated his experience saying, “I can never forget that fateful day. It was early October. I was going to Apapa. At Mile 2, there was a traffic jam. One man, dressed like a beggar came and begged me for money.
“I told him I did not have. I thought he understood me. Before I could move further, he brought a hammer and hit my side door. In the process, he made away with my laptops and other valuables. In fact, my entire day was disorganised because I lost a lot of data with the laptop.”
Ngozi Braide, the Lagos State police public relations officer reacted to the questions about the rising incidents saying the police is not aware of such complaints.
She said, “We are not aware of that. Find out if the victims actually reported to the police and the station such complaints were lodged. All the same, the information is noted.”