Police personnel in Lamgbasa have arrested 12 hoodlums for attacking residents of Ado in the Ajah area of Lagos State.
The hoodlums, were said to have robbed residents and passers-by of their mobile telephones, cash and other valuable items on Saturday.
A resident, identified simply as Bukky, told PUNCH Metro that the hoodlums took control of the area for several minutes as business activities were suspended.
She stated that the hoodlums looted shops, whose owners were caught unawares during the operation.
According to her, the hoodlums shot repeatedly in the air, accosted passers-by and robbed them of their belongings.
Bukky said, “I have never witnessed what happened on Saturday. Ado was like a war zone. Residents scurried into their houses to avoid being hit by bullets. We panicked as we held our breath still and prayed for God’s intervention.
“As they moved from one street to the other, they were saying that there was nothing anybody could do to them, not even the police.”
Another resident, who identified himself simply as Uche, said Ajah had never been safe for anyone, adding that Saturday’s mayhem was one of the many cult-related activities that had been taking place in Ajah for a long time.
He added that he was on his way to see a friend on a nearby street when the violence broke out.
Uche stated, “The members of the cults appeared not to be fighting one another, but instead went about looting shops, collecting phones, cash and other valuables from people.
“They also wounded some people, who tried to resist them. There was pandemonium, especially for those coming into the area. They did not know which way to run to. Some people were knocking at our doors, while others ran into our backyard for cover. The situation was confusing.”
A policeman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that the pandemonium was caused by hoodlums, who rob residents in the name of cultism.
He added that the police at the Lamgbasa Police Station, led by the Divisional Police Officer, Adaobi Okafor, were able to arrest 12 hoodlums and launched a manhunt for the fleeing suspects.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Bala Elkana, said on September 8, around 2pm, a team of policemen were deployed in Ado village based on credible information that some cult members were gathering by the Transformer area in the Baale Ado’s house with intent to cause public disturbance.
He stated, “On sighting the team of policemen, these street urchins took to their heels, but the policemen shot in the air to disperse them. They later regrouped and came out through Okeira Nla in a bid to start robbing passers-by. Some of these men were seen wielding dangerous weapons.
“The police gave them a hot chase. In the process, 12 of these street urchins were arrested. Exhibits recovered from them are cutlass, jack knife, one expended ammunition and stolen telephones.”