A combined team of policemen from Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, and Adeniji Adele Police Division has smashed a suspected robbery gang terrorising residents of Lagos Island, Lagos State, southwest Nigeria.
The police team who had been on the trail of the gang launched a massive attack on the gang on Sunday which lasted for several hours on the Island.
P.M.NEWS learnt that the leader of the gang known as Gani Mental along with two other suspected robbers were killed as a result of the injures they sustained during the exchange of fire with the police while four members of the gang were arrested and detained at SARS.
Before they were rounded up by the detectives, the suspected robbers who were heavily armed with assorted firearms shot two policemen simply identified as Olamide and Jide attached to Adeniyi Adedeji Division. While Olamide died on the spot, Jide sustained injuries and was still receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital as at the time of filing this report.
P.M.NEWS learnt that the police operation was in response to distress calls from the residents of the area who had complained about incessant armed robbery attacks by the robbery gang.
According to residents, the gang was well known on the Island for its activities including breaking into shops and carting away goods as well as collecting sales proceeds from traders at gun point.
The residents said they reported the gang to the SARS when their criminal activities on the island became unbearable.
Before the police operation, P.M.NEWS learnt that the men of SARS had earlier trailed their leader to Ilorin, Kwara State, his home town but he escaped.
Describing what led to the killing of the suspected robbers, an eyewitness said on the fateful day, the gang drove to the Island for a robbery operation with a Honda Odyssey vehicle marked DL 249 FST, not knowing that they had been under surveillance by the police team led by Abba Kyari.
When police intercepted their vehicle allegedly loaded with cartons of live ammunition, pump action and AK47 guns and charms which they used for their operations, the gang members shot at the police which led to the gun battle.
According to the witness, the battle started at Idumagbo area on Lagos Island and shifted to Eko Bridge where the police eventually over powered them.
The police recovered a bus suspected to belong to an aide of a police boss loaded with live ammunition and other assorted weapons.
Some of the residents who spoke to P.M.NEWS expressed delight over the killing and arrest of some of the armed robbers, claiming that the gang had terrorised them for several years.
They also commended the police for their efforts to smash the gang whom they claimed operated freely and displayed their arms, harassed, intimidated and robbed the residents with impunity.
They also commended some of the residents for assisting the police to smash the gang.