Armed robbers robbed passengers on board a LAGBUS vehicle en route to Oshodi, Lagos State, the bus took off from Sango end of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, the incident occurred at the toll gate area, some metres away from the vehicle’s take-off point, some hoodlums stopped the bus under the pretext of boarding it.
Hardly had the vehicle come to a halt when the assailants, numbering about 30, reportedly jumped in and started dispossessing passengers of their valuables.
One of the gang members was said to be armed with a gun, while others wielded cutlasses, knives, sticks, among others.
It was learnt that the bus conductor, a lady, managed to escape after the robbers had collected the money on her.
She was said to have alerted passersby to the robbery.
Having seen that a mob was advancing towards the scene, it was gathered that the robbers took to their heels.
The mob was said to have nabbed and beat up three of the suspects.
A resident, who identified himself only as Abbas, said it took the intervention of operatives of the Alagbado Police Division to rescue the suspects from the mob.
He said, “I was about to sleep last Sunday around 9.30pm when I heard a distress call. I peeped through the window and saw a lady running by the roadside and shouting, ‘thief, thief.’ When I noticed that some people had rallied around her, I woke up my neighbour and we went outside to know what was happening. The crowd chased the robbers and arrested three of them. One of them was seriously beaten before policemen rescued them.”
Another eyewitness, Abraham Alabi, said about 20 passengers on the bus were robbed, adding that the robbery would have been foiled if it happened on a working day.
He said, “The incident happened on Sunday when most residents were indoors. If it were to be on a working day, the road would still be busy with people returning home from work. I think the robbers struck because there were a few human and vehicular movements on the road at that time of the day.”
A police source told our correspondent that three suspects were in custody.
He said, “The LAGBUS conductor reported to the police that her bus was heading towards Lagos, but it was stopped when it got to the toll gate area around 10pm.
“She said about 30 hoodlums with weapons such as cutlasses rushed into the bus without collecting tickets, attacked the passengers and dispossessed them of their money and other valuables.
“She said they also collected the money on her. The anti-robbery team was dispatched to the scene and three suspects were arrested. One of them was mobbed.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, confirmed the incident.
“The suspects are with us while investigation continues. Efforts are being made to apprehend other members of the gang,” he added.
However, the LAGBUS Public Affairs Officer, Oluyemi Adesoye, said the management was not aware of the incident.
She added that it was possible the franchise company in charge of the bus decided not to report it.
She said, “I have called the head of franchise, head of operations and some other officials and they said they were not aware of such incident. Maybe it actually happened, but the franchise company involved did not get across to us because the police are handling the case.”