By Stephen Ubanna
This is not the best of times for Cultists, gangsters, Kidnappers and Armed Robbers who have made Lagos their operational base to carry out their nefarious activities in recent times. This is because Zubairu Mu’azu, the state Commissioner of Police , and his tactical Operations Team appear prepared to go to any length to smoke them out from their hideout .
On assumption of duties in Lagos state, he was said to have visited the Oworoshoki Shanties which had been dreaded by former Police Commissioners in the state because of the notoriety of people of the area, regarded as a breeding ground for criminals and cultists in the state. His findings in the area may have strengthened his resolve to tackle the menace of ”kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism and gangsterism” , particular traffic robbery, in the state.
A s a prelude to ensuring that the Command’s efforts in combating violent crimes in the state are not sabotaged, Mua’azu , the Police Commissioner, dedicated a number, 09090003792 for those who have complaints of unwholesome activities of police personnel to easily reach out to the Command. Appealing to the people to support the police so that their efforts at combating crimes in the state would not be in vain, he averred that it is the only way the security operatives would serve the state better.
The no nonsense CP who could be regarded as a child of circumstances having assumed duty in Lagos to be confronted by extrajudicial killings by officers of Lagos State Police Command, was said to have also equipped the Command Rapid Response Squad, RRS, with the state of the Art modern working tools to assist them in responding to distress calls and emergency situations in any part of the state without delay to achieve result.
”My dream is to present to Lagosians a state where everyone is safe to carry out his or her legitimate duties at all time without harassment or intimidation by anyone”, he had said. In the light of this objective, he was said to have embarked ” on the re-training of officers in the state as a way of turning them to true Professionals , Courageous and peoples friendly police officers”.
The Value News learnt that the Commissioner has also entered into talks with some Consulting firms to Organise training programmes for the officers on ”Emotional Intelligence” to restore their confidence in combating crime in the state. The efforts seems to have paid off. This is evident by the recent rescue of the abducted Rasaki Musibau, Director , of the Lagos state Fire Service and six others. The police effort was capped with the arrest of two suspects in connection with the kidnap case. The Commissioner disclosed that ”sustained and well-Coordinated operations by the Command’s Anti-Kidnapping Unit led to the arrest of the two suspects ”.
The suspects, one Blessing Bayo, a 29 year -old and his partner in crime , one 32 year -year old Smart Alfred , who were arrested last week Wednesday at Ibafun, along the Ikorodu – Ijebu Ode Expressway were said to have been detained in a secluded facility outside the Command normal detention room to avoid mingling with other hardened criminals who are still in the police detention pending when they would be charged to Court. The good news was that the duo had confessed to ”committing the crime ”. Bayo, one of the Arogbo, Ondo state born suspects disclosed that they did not collect any ransom from the family of the victims as they were still negotiating before they fell into the waiting hands of Mu’azu’s men on the road. The suspect who looked unruffled never showed any sign of regret as he sat on the ground at the police expansive premises , guarded by heavily armed Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, personnel.
The most recent case handled by the Command was said to have been based on a Complaint letter, given by one Adeniyi Adegeye, popularly known as, King Sunny Ade, that some unknown persons opened a fake Instagram Account and Bank Accounts in his name ostensibly to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.
Acting on the report, Mu’azu, was said to have deployed members of the Command Criminal Intelligence Bureau, CIB, who were said to have carried out a thorough and painstaking Investigation on the matter leading to the arrest of four suspects. They are Ayoola Zainab, Oyewunmi Abiodun Ridwan, Oyedokun Lawrence Femi and Oyebode Rebeca. The police Investigators were said to have recovered an ATM card of the account from the gang which they had successfully used in defrauding 28 victims of N1.387,000.00 . Rebecca, one of the female suspects was said to have owned an account which she used in defrauding 33 victims of N1,454,200.00
Femi, who is the leader of the syndicate, who opened the fake Instagram and email accounts, which were the platforms he was said to have placed the information about a ”non existing King Sunny Ade United States , US, musical tour was said to have duped 33 people of the sum N2,841,200.00. The import of this according to the Lagos CP is a warning to Nigerians to be careful who they chart up in the social media as most of the names are non existing merely used to trap and dupe victims. The suspects, the police boss confirmed have been charged to Court as a lesson to others who engage in such fraudulent activities.
What may have gladenned the heart of the Police Commissioner in the state was a notorious armed robber and Cult leader who has been terrorising people. The suspect , One Kehinde Olamide, popularly known in criminal circles as Obeke, according to sources has been on the wanted list of the police for years. He was said to have masterminded the attack on Yoruba leaders in Afolabi Ege market.
Given his privileged information, the Lagos state Police Commissioner disclosed that the gang , ” operate mostly along Pako Bust stop and Mile Ten area of Ojo”, where there is an existing military Barrack, Ojo Cantonment.
More worrisome about the crime in the society was the arrest of one Emmanuel Ede, 22 years, and an indigene of Enugu state and four others who disguise themselves as vehicle loaders along the road at Mazaza but were actually Indian Hemp sellers for the dealer in the area. Ede, who claimed to have entered Lagos had ended up at the motor park where he mixed up with area boys in the area who introduced him to the business as a means o f survival. The suspect who told The Value News that he has been in the business for the past two years while narrating his ordeal said ”I sleep and wake up in the morning at the Maza Maza motor park. The police patrol team who raided were said to have caught them with the exhibits which were displayed at the state Police Command where the criminals were brought out for parade to the public.
The Lagos state police Command tactical units on the orders of the Commissioner may have beamed their searchlight at Mazamaza and Ojo axis of the state to stop the crime wave in the area.
However what baffles many onlookers is why the activities of these criminals thrive in an area like Ojo which not only has a large military base but a Department of State Security, DSS facility, the training base and shooting range.
Additional Reports By Emmanuel Ufot