UNEASY calm pervaded Ipakodo area of Ikorodu, yesterday, scene of Wednesday’s bank robbery operation which was led by a lady, during which everyone was held spell bound in a shooting spree that lasted close to two hours.
Consequently, the affected banks were not open for business transactions, as repairs were being carried out on the damaged property. One of the banks had its affected areas like the Automated Teller Machine gallery, its doors and roof covered with planks as repairs were ongoing. Some bank staff were also sighted between 8 and 9am but later left. No customer visited either of the ATMs.
Some shops around the area were also under lock and key while residents expressed fear over the incident which they described as a theatre of war.
However, life has returned to the jetty operated by Origin Gardens, which served as escape route for the robbers, with canoe operators conveying passengers from one end to the other.
Top: Entrances of the banks burst by the armed robbers. Below from left: A victim agonises over her loss; the exit route of the robbers and some of the cars destroyed during the Ikorodu robbery incident. Photos: Bose Adelaja.
The jetty owner, Mr. Fehinti Adeola Kosoko said the incident did not hinder the day-to-day activity at the jetty .Another operator who simply gave his name as Lekan said: “Life has to go on. We are happy that no life was lost yesterday (Wednesday). The fact that they took this route to escape does not mean we facilitated their escape because we all fled with our canoes in order not to be seen as being on their way. So, the incident does not hinder us from conveying passengers “.
Another resident who identified himself as Mr Chigozie Onyeka, blamed lack of security on the waterways as cause for the spate of robbery in Ikorodu..
A visibly angry Onyeka said: “What are the Marine Police and Navy doing? Whose responsibility is to patrol these waters. Last month, a similar attack on two banks happened at Ijede area of Ikorodu , with the bandits escaping through the lagoon. Yesterday’s was the same thing, as the jetty also served as their escape route . Are the security operatives waiting for people to die before they will take necessary action?”
Residents, including those at the jetty were heard giving different versions of how the robbery attack which they described as movie-like occurred.
At the Ipakodo Police division, armed policemen were sighted manning their respective positions. A patrol van from Shagamu Road Division, later joined by a convoy from the Area ‘N’ command were sighted in the division’s premises, inspecting the level of damage.
Although there were no signs of immediate repairs going on at the station but the two operational Sports Utility Vehicles, SUV, said to have been set ablaze by the robbers after removing the number plates, apparently to avoid giving out any clue, had been removed from the Ipakodo division. Only one vehicle, a Nissan Serena car reportedly owned by a lady police officer was seen in the premises. Its windscreen was shattered by bullets from the robbers and its body also riddled with bullets during the exchange of gun fire.
The walls of the station were also perforated by bullets. Police sources hinted that a policeman injured during the ensuing gun battle was recuperating at the Ikorodu General Hospital where he was rushed to alongside two others. It was also gathered that the injured commercial motorcyclist had been discharged from the hospital.