Residents’ ordeal began about four months ago after they received threat letters from a robbery gang some of which were posted on strategic places. Residents had initially dismissed the threat this represented after law enforcement agents informed them that the situation was under control, assuring them of their safety.
So buoyed by this assurance from law enforcement agents, residents were virtually caught napping when the robbers launched a surprise attack on Thursday June 27, 2013. The gang of seven stormed Crown estate with various weapons around 2.30am and before anybody could realise what was happening, some families were seriously injured. The robbers carted away cash and valuable items, including laptops, electronics and handsets with monetary value put at millions of Naira.
Also, some residents were compelled to flee the community as the gang members moved from house to house, dispossessing people of their personal effects. Those attacked included one Alhaji Umar, Mr. Segun Olarinwa, Mr. Otu Wahab and Mr. Amezie.
The robbers gained access into Amezie’s house after breaching the anti-burglary metallic mesh. Luckily for him, he escaped and immediately raised alarm which attracted members of the vigilante group who rushed to the scene immediately.
Six of the gang members, however, escaped, leaving behind one who was apprehended by the vigilante group.
Seyi, as he was later identified, was tied with a rope and taken to the heart of the town. In spite of the attacks from robbers, residents did not take the law into their hands. Rather the culprit was taken to Ayinla Police Station where in his confessional statement, he mentioned four other members of his gang, including two identified simply as ‘Dudu’and ‘Seriki’ who were also arrested the following day. Their arrest brought relief to embattled residents .But since the suspects regained freedom, it has been threats upon threats in the community such that many of the residents have fled for dear lives and this was evidenced by the incident of July 7 where Megy junction was attacked overnight.
During VM’s visit to the community, residents lamented the situation and called on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to come to their aid. One of the victims who simply identified himself as Mr. Afolabi, said the robbers gained entry into his house through the roof. This was on the day unknown men unleashed terror overnight, although some of the victims received assistance from the vigilante group.
As at the time of filing this report, residents live in the fear of unknown as the culprits are said to be well connected. ‘’As a matter of fact, they told us the worst was yet to come after regaining their freedom,’’ chorused some of the victims who do not want their names in print. .
Also, VM’s checks revealed that two members of the vigilante group met their untimely end during some of the robbery attacks in the town.
A resident who simply gave his name as Mr. Ajani Buraimo, said Dudu and his colleagues have been charged at Magistrate Court Otta but his continual threat messages have been a source of concern to the community. ‘’Dudu was accosted at Sangotumo by members of the vigilante group while boarding a motorcycle from Arepo with his girl friend. He pulled a pistol from his bag and shot his way out of the place. However, he was later arrested and taken to Sango Police Station. But that has not stopped him from boasting that he would soon come back to launch a reprisal attack which he eventually did,’’ Ajani said.
In a chat with VM, a member of Mobolorunduro Community Development Association who do not want his name in print, lamented that the community might be rendered desolate due to incessant robbery attacks.
Contacted, Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer Muyiwa Adejobi said he was not aware of the development, saying he will look into the issue.