The gun battle between a group of policemen and some armed robbers in the early hours of Tuesday, October 13, 2015 turned deadly as a woman and her 14-month-old baby were hit by the robbers’ stray bullets and died.
The Trent had reported that over 20 heavily armed bandits attacked Diamond and Access banks on 4th Avenue in Festac Town, Lagos State in a one-hour operation that has left a tragic trail of blood.
WARNING: The photo gallery below this story contains images that viewers may find graphic. Discretion is advised.
The woman, identified as Mrs. Jane Ndirieka and her baby were hit in their house by stray bullets from the robbers shooting spree. The victim’s neighbours who spoke with our correspondent at their 4th Avenue flat say that Mrs. Ndirieka was shot twice, one in the chest and in other the right shoulder while she carried her baby. Her baby died on the spot while she was rushed to the hospital.
Our correspondent exclusively gathered from investigations at the scene of the robbery that the bandits arrived on three boats and berthed at the canal by the fresh fruits market on the 4th Avenue in Festac. They divided themselves into two groups.
Access Bank and Diamond Bank are located between two junctions. Access Bank is close to the 4th Avenue by 5th Avenue Junction while Diamond Bank is closer to the 4th Avenue by 23 Road Junction. One group of the dare-devil robbers who dressed in military fatigue set up a road block at the 4th Avenue by 5th Avenue Junction while the other team set up a road block by the 4th Avenue by 23 Road Junction.
Once they blocked the junctions, they began to shoot sporadically to scare off residents as they began to break down the doors of the banks. According to an eye-witness who spoke with our correspondent, the robbers also set off explosives which looked liked bottles at the scene.
A friend of the victim, Mrs. Jane Ndirieka, who was present with her in her house when she was hit by the robbers’ bullets tells The Trent that Mrs. Ndirieka was first rushed to a nearby hospital in Festac Town where she was rejected. All pleas made to the hospital to treat her was rebuffed. At this point, Ndirieka had lost a lot of blood and was losing consciousness.
While on the way to the government’s general hospital, she died in the car and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Her baby, who was in her arms when she was hit by the bullets which passed through the door and walls of her flat and hit her, died on the spot. (The sad photo of the dead baby is in the photo gallery below.)
Residents say that the police did not respond to any of their distress calls and the robbery operation went unchallenged for close to an hour.
The robbers shot a security guard at Diamond Bank during the operation. The security guard (name withheld) was rushed to a nearby hospital where the hospital staff who spoke with The Trent confirmed that he was conscious and an x-ray had been done to locate the bullet.
According to eye-witnesses, the robbers who were at least 20 in number, snatched two vehicles and used them to pack their loot from the two banks – Diamond and Access – before making their escape back to the waterside canal close to the fresh fruits market where they boarded their boats and fled.
Almost an hour after the robbers had fled the scene, the Area Commander of the Police arrived the scene with his team.
Below are graphic photos including that of the killed 18-month-old child.
Lone OPC Guard Repels Robbers From Attacking 3rd Bank
The gang of at least 20 armed robbers who stormed 4th Avenue, Festac Town in Lagos State would have attacked the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) located on the same street with Access Bank and Diamond Bank which were robbed, but for the intervention of an O’odua Peoples Congress (OPC) guard who single-handedly repelled them.
A group of armed bandits dressed in military fatigue, had in the early hours of Tuesday, October 13, 2015 attacked the Diamond and Access banks in the area in a one-hour operation which left a trail of blood.
The guard popularly called Agbashe, was said to have shot back at the robbers who targeted FCMB as the third bank in a chain of deadly attacks which left a woman and her 14-month-old baby dead.
Attempts by the robbers to gun down Agbashe proved abortive as their bullets failed to hit at him. While, his shots repelled the robbers. On noticing that their bullets were not affecting the OPC guard, the robbers abandoned their plans to rob the bank and fled.
Eye-witnesses who spoke with The Trent, said it was like watching a movie and Agbashe operated like he had a bullet-proof shield. They believe he was using a ‘juju’, African charm.
It is unclear if the OPC guard was assigned to FCMB or he was guarding the neighbourhood.
The police reportedly arrived at least 30 minutes after the robbers escaped in their boats after carting away unspecified amount of money from the two affected banks.