Saturday, June 11, 2016
ARMED POLICE ROBBERS
I was attacked by armed robbers at that Gbagada U-turn bridge…few metres after the Mobil filling station on Saturday (June 4) at about 10:30pm. It was surreal because of two reasons. First, I had escaped an attempt twice at that same spot and I had mentioned to my friend, who was behind the wheels, to be careful as we approached the bridge. As he drove up the bridge, I spotted a Jeep parked at the centre of the bridge and two cars drove slowly behind us. The Jeep with registration number AAA856CN began to reverse (awkwardly) and I had a lucky guess. I opened the door to run down the bush path by the side of the bridge but had not turn back. Maybe stupidity but I could not leave my guy behind. Four men fully armed descended on us, shoved us in the back seat, and one of them drove our car. They kept ranting threats…”Kill! Money!! Now!!! Those sorts of things. The Lexus jeep drove behind my car and we began a tour of Lagos Mainland. Anyway, we were robbed- phones stolen and the armed robbers drove to the new GTbank at Ilupeju, along Ikorodu Road to withdraw the funds in my account. One of them walked into the ATM to empty the account boldly. Their next destination was Surulere, driving aimlessly (I thought) because they had no idea what to do with us after they stole all we had and the fuel level was low. They spotted an unlucky chic driving a white jeep alone on the bridge heading to Jibowu. By the way, they drove pass police checkpoints several times without being stopped #justSaying. Back to the chic in a white jeep, my car was used to obstruct hers and their Jeep parked behind her to box her in. The four guys in my car ran out and the same scenario I witnessed about two hours ago played out with the girl as the victim (Yes! We were with them for almost two hours…long story and dispense errors). They abandoned my friend and I in the car and zoomed off with their new victim. The guy that I supposed was their leader threw my key out of the window as they drove off. That was about 12:20am
I had this nasty headache as my head was hit earlier with the butt of a gun as I drove home…it was a state of disbelief. The next morning, I decided to report to the police station at Ifako and spotted a UBA debit card where one of the armed robbers sat- SAHEED BOLAJI 5199 1101 ****1419. I assumed it must be for one of them. On my way to the station, I felt this was an easy case for the police to crack. I had the registration number of the car that obstructed me in the first place; one of the robbers used the ATM which must have taken his picture, and now a debit card which might belong to any of them. One of these three variables would be a lead… I thought
(Not)surprising the officers that attended to me at Ifako police station made me feel like I wasted my time to report the case. First, I was talked to as if it was my fault. Imagine this stupid question, “Why do you walk around with your ATM card, don’t you know that you are setting yourself up?” At that moment I had no tolerance for BS and my friend was in that same boat. As a Nigerian, I replied the question with another question. “The value of any debit card is the amount in the account which might not be up to N30,000 but most people’s phones are more expensive than their bank balance, does that mean they should leave their phones at home?” My intention was to pen my statement and move ahead. The officer behind the counter opened his mouth and demand N5,000 to file the case. He posed a threat that if the owner of the debit card reports it stolen before I file my report that I might be in serious trouble. I will have to explain how it got to my possession and it will appear I reported the case because I had to exonerate myself (that kin BS). I had to remind him the reason I was there and that my account was emptied. I had to ask, “do you expect me to steal N5,000?” He reduced the amount to N2,000 as if it was a favour. They were damn serious to receive this amount until a mutual friend at the station paid.
The next day, I called the Inspector and he responded that there was nothing he could do because investigation will take time and money, and if I had both I should come to the station. His attempt was to convince me with his countenance that that was the end of the case and I should count my loss and thank God I was alive. I am grateful to be alive but the point these criminals have to be stopped because their activities have become rampant with careless regard. I was born and breed in Gbagada and it can reoccur and involve someone that I know.
I mean, investigation is not hard (is it) if there is effort. For instance, it is possible the vehicle used to rob me was stolen but at least identify the owner. All the police had to do was log in on FRSC website (http://www.nvisng.org/NumberPlateVerification.aspx) to determine the owner. At least, from the platform available to the public the feedback was “Number Plate is valid and assigned to N/A Lexus Rx 330” On their platform you get the owner’s information and this is less than a minute (even if your network is as slow as …) Next was to approach GTbank for ATM CCTV footage, the last withdrawal was at 12:01am June 5th and we can obtain the robber’s image. The inspector’s response to this suggestion was “So what should I do with the picture because I don’t recognise him or do you recognise him?” In this day and age of social media, someone will recognise him. The UBA debit card left in my car was also pushed aside, “since they don’t know the owner”.
It sucks really, because this will keep happening and we are place in a position to rather inform our relatives and friends to be careful rather than the police. By the way, I feel for whosoever buys my stolen phone Samsung phone. Stealing phones nowadays is similar to stealing GPS, you will get caught.