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Lagos bizman loses N21m valuables to robbers

A businessman, Mohammed Abdullahi, has accused policemen of the Zone 2 Command and Lagos State Police Command of mishandling a case of robbery that made him lose his car, money and valuables worth N21m when armed criminals robbed him and his neighbours at their residence in the Awoyaya community, in the Ibeju Lekki area of the state.

It was gathered that Abdullahi, a realtor, in several posts on sometime in May and June 2024, lamented over the loss of his valuables and how the police did nothing meaningful to track down the suspects behind the robbery despite providing overwhelming evidence to them.

In one of the posts, Abdullahi said, “Please Nigerians, help me share this video. these are the guys that robbed me and the police are not ready to do anything about my case.”

Our correspondent, during a recent conversation with the realtor, gathered that he was at home with his friend, Juliet, when three of the five robbers who invaded their building broke down the door of his flat, gained entry into his parlour and room and robbed him and his guest of their valuables at gunpoint.

During the operation around 1 am, the businessman said the armed robbers used a gun to strike his head, adding that after robbing him and other neighbours in the building housing 20 units of flats, the robbers, whose faces were said to be visible during the robbery, locked them up in the toilets and fled.

Abdullahi said, “They were five in number but only three entered my apartment while the remaining were outside monitoring. They were armed with guns and knives. While in my flat, one of them cocked the gun and demanded my car key, which I gave him.

“They also searched my house and saw a bag containing my passport with a valid visa, driving licence, and dollars that I wanted to use to purchase goods for my real estate business as I was to travel to Turkey in January 2023.

“They also stole my clothes, shoes, laptop, token, ATM card, gold, phone and some other documents for my business. They broke the door of my flat and gained entry, proceeded to my room and knocked down the door. The building is a combination of 20-unit flats and the armed robbers robbed nine residents, including me, on that day.”

During the operation, Abdullahi said one of his neighbours informed the landlady, who notified the police in Area J Command, adding that despite their intervention, no meaningful progress had been made to track down the suspects.

He said, “The armed robbers operated from 1 am to 3 am, locked all of us who were robbed inside the toilet or kitchen and left. It was after they left that the police came and opened the toilet and kitchen doors to set us free. We were later invited to the police station where we wrote statements.

“When we got home, we realised that some of the suspects were using some of the stolen phones to access the UBER app on one of the phones to book a ride and snap pictures using the Snapchat handle of one of my neighbours. They had access to the phone because when they stole it, they collected the password to unlock it and we monitored the social media handle using another phone.

“The suspects even wore one of my neighbour’s stolen wristwatches and snapped pictures with it. We recognised them because when they robbed us, they did not wear any masks. We took all that evidence to the policemen at Area J and we also paid N90,000 to track the location of the stolen phones.”

According to Abdullahi, they did the tracking and showed us some locations but we didn’t get anything concrete. One of the policemen even demanded N30,000 from me to give someone at Alausa to help me flag my car and didn’t do anything despite paying him.

He added that he was the one who later went to flag the car and to date, he still receives alerts whenever his vehicle was charged for a traffic offence, among others.

Abdullahi said, “I later visited the command headquarters in Ikeja to lodge another complaint and spoke with one CSP Abdulfatai, gave him all the evidence and pictures of the suspects and he promised to arrest them. He called one of his team leaders, Seun, and told me to meet him to write statements.

“Seun demanded N50,000 for the case and I gave him. A month after paying him, I called Seun and he said there was an election and he wouldn’t be able to do anything. After the election, I called CSP Abdulfatai, he said he had retired.

“I called Seun but got nothing meaningful from him. I demanded my money and he returned it. I later went to the Zone 2 Command, met the AIG, wrote a petition and he assigned my case to a team leader. The team leader, after assessing my case, said they didn’t have the server to track the suspects.”

Abdullahi said the team lead introduced him to someone who demanded N500,000 to handle the case, adding that he paid the person N150,000 but he later returned N70,000, showed him some paperwork and said he couldn’t continue the job.

“It weakened me; despite all the evidence submitted, the police kept demanding money without doing any solid investigation. Last month, I still even received an autoreg and traffic offence alert for my stolen vehicle because I had flagged it.

“The police frustrated the case. They didn’t do anything to track down the suspects; they just kept collecting money and only showed paperwork and nothing more. The police treated me badly.

“The valuables I lost during the robbery were worth around N21m. The incident happened on December 25, 2022, and I still have the pictures of some of the suspects. I have made several reports at the police stations and nothing was done,” he added.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, when contacted, said he would get back to our correspondent but had yet to do so as of the time this report was filed.


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