The Lagos State Police Command has arrested no fewer than 24 suspected robbers who allegedly attacked some residents and worshippers going for a vigil in the Oworonshoki area of the state.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the suspects invaded Shokoya Street and LK Junction around 2am on Saturday, dispossessing the people of their valuables.
Our correspondent gathered that a vigil was being organised in the area by the Ramadan Lailatul Quadri when the robbers struck.
It was learnt that the hoodlums, who wielded machetes and knives, also broke bottles on the street and vandalised vehicles.
Several worshippers going for the programme reportedly lost their phones and money to the gang.
A landlord on Shokoya Street, Adegbokun Badmus, told PUNCH Metro that some of the robbers wore white gowns to disguise as worshippers.
He said, “It was around 2am that I began to hear noises. The robbers invaded the street, brandishing cutlasses and broken bottles. Most of the victims were the worshippers going for a Muslim vigil. The robbers collected their phones, money and other valuables.
“They also attacked our two security men. Everyone was running for their lives. By morning, we packed not less than two crates of broken bottles.
“The police were able to arrest some of the robbers, but others escaped. Some of the robbers wore white robes and mingled with worshippers. They also destroyed some vehicles parked on the road.”
A local government worker in the area, who gave his name only as Adebowale, said, “When the noise of the security guards woke us up, some residents went out and pursued some of the robbers. Some of them ran to Onabanjo Street and that was where three of the robbers were arrested on Saturday.
“Some of the robbers came from as far as Ilorin, Kwara State, and Ibadan, Oyo State. They wore religious garments as if they came for the programme. They tried to cart away valuables such as generators and electronic appliances in the various houses they attacked. But when they heard different alarms going off, they got angry and began to damage vehicles.
“They are robbers, who disguised as religious worshipers. I have never seen such on this street before now. We want the police to intensify security in our area.”
Our correspondent learnt that policemen patrolled the area on Sunday and arrested some hoodlums smoking hemp at a junction called LK.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the arrests, adding that the suspects would be transferred to the State Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja, for further investigation.
She said, “The programme held at the Papa playground, Oworonshoki. A large number of hoodlums, suspected to be cultists, fomented trouble. They dispossessed people of their valuables. Twenty-three suspects have been arrested and will be transferred to SARS for investigation and prosecution.”