Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Be Security Conscious! Lagos State Besieged By Kidnapping Syndicates

Nigeria's Centre of Excellence - Lagos State appears to be currently besieged by kidnapping gangs sequel to kidnapping of an expatriate contractor at Epe, a suburb of Lagos, that of an Immigration officer around ikorodu and a family of four at Ayobo on Monday

The fear of kidnappers in Lagos is the beginning of wisdom. Armed gangs on Monday went on rampage in several parts of Lagos, namely Epe, Ikorodu and Ayobo, abducting victims for possible ransom.
Gunmen also kidnapped an expatriate contractor working on the Lagos State government’s dualisation of Epe Township Expansion project in Epe, Lagos.

One of the contractors from the Granebury Construction, the company handling the project was kidnapped on Monday evening while working on the site.

A police source told The Guardian that already, the police have mounted aerial surveillance in Epe in a bid to rescue the kidnapped contractor.

An armoured tank has also been stationed at the project site.

When contacted, the Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Ganiu Johnson, refused to comment on the matter, but a source in the Lagos State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure confirmed the kidnap, adding that the state government had been duly informed about the incident and the police have activated its surveillance to rescue the kidnapped expatriate.

In a related development, an Immigration officer attached to the Ikoyi Passport Office, Peter Ofulue, was kidnapped by armed men on his way to work on Monday. He was trying to board a boat in Ikorodu when he was abducted by gunmen, who drove him away in an unregistered car.

A family source told newsmen that as the bandits were driving away, Ofulue quickly contacted his younger brother telling him that he had just been abducted. The source said the hoodlums are yet to contact the family and demand for ransom.

At the Ikorodu jetty, passengers said they have been travelling in fear of the unknown over the rising spate of insecurity in the area.

An eyewitness at the scene told The Guardian: “I was there when the gunmen accosted the Immigration officer. They shot into the air to scare people away. So, we ran for safety, some even jumped into the river to be rescued later by divers.”

At the Ikoyi Passport office, his colleagues wore ugly faces while discussing the abduction of Ofulue, who they described as a jovial officer.

For residents of Ijon community in Ayobo, an outskirts of Lagos, they are gripped by fear following the invasion of their village by daredevil kidnap kingpins. The eight-man kidnap gang had at the wee hours of Monday stormed the premises of Oluseun Oguyemi and abducted his wife and three children.

Ogunyemi escaped and contacted the traditional ruler of the community (Baale) who quickly contacted the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ayobo Station, for reinforcement. The police allegedly gave the hoodlums a hot chase to a nearby river.

It was gathered that the hoodlums suspected to be from a neighbouring village in Ogun State, engaged the police in a gun battle, which lasted for about 45 minutes. At the end of fire exchange, the hoodlums abandoned their victims and escaped in a speedboat.

However, for some of the residents, the fear of the hoodlums’ return is the beginning of wisdom, since the police thwarted their earlier attempt.

Ogunyemi told newsmen: “On the fateful day around 2.00a.m., I heard a bang on my door. I woke up, but before I could recover from slumber, they burst the door open. I counted eight armed men all carrying chain guns. I don’t know if there were others outside. As they were trying to take us away, I jumped out through the window and fled.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, who went on the spot assessment of the Ayobo community, said: “When the alarm was raised that some hoodlums had abducted a family, the police gave the hoodlums a hot chase and engaged them in a gun duel. The superior firepower of the police forced the kidnappers to abandon their victim and they were rescued.

“The Police is always on top of such situation, what we need from members of the public is information. Once we get information, our response time is five minutes.”

Culled from: Guardian Newspaper