All hell broke loose on Wednesday on Olaleye Street, in the Iponri area of Lagos State, after an armed robber shot dead a leader of the Oodua People’s Congress, Sanjo Akintoye, during a failed attack.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the robber, who came on a motorcycle with another suspect, expended his bullets on the 43-year-old security guard, who struggled with him till the end.
As he made to reload his pistol, residents swooped on him and broke his skull with stones, sticks and bottles.
He died on the spot and the corpse was recovered by policemen from the Iponri division.
Our correspondent, who visited the scene, learnt that the suspect and his accomplice had trailed a worker at a construction site, who had gone to withdraw N500,000 from a branch of Zenith bank in the area.
A witness, who did not identify himself, said the rider and the passenger were challenged for riding a motorcycle into the area.
He said, “One of us was asked to withdraw money from the Zenith Bank around 11am. As he was coming back on foot, he was surprised to see two people following him on a motorcycle.
“One of us, Baba Bolu, challenged them for riding motorcycle into the area. The man at the back of the motorcycle shot him in the leg and in the hand. Baba Bolu lost a finger. Chairman (Akintoye) was returning from the toilet when he heard the gunshots and he confronted the robber.
“The robber faced him and released a hail of bullets on him. Chairman was hit, but he moved closer to the suspect. The robber continued to fire shots till he expended his bullets.”
Another witness said the gunshots attracted the attention of other OPC members and some residents in the area.
He said while the robber was shooting Akintoye, the residents had blocked all escape routes.
“Some of us stood on the road, while others stayed behind vehicles. Immediately we saw that he had expended his bullets, one of us attacked the robber as he climbed the motorcycle to flee the scene.
“He fell. Some other people moved closer and hit him with planks, bottles and any weapon they could find, but the rider escaped,” he added.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Akintoye was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was confirmed dead.
The news of his death was said to have angered residents, who again stabbed the suspect.
Our correspondent gathered that a robber had two months ago entered the estate on a motorcycle and escaped with N500,000 after trailing another resident from the same bank.
A worker in the estate, Francis Oloto, said that the incident was captured on a CCTV, adding that the robber had a motorcyclist waiting for him at the junction.
He said, “That day, he wore a fez cap and jeans. He trailed the worker till he got here. From what we saw on the CCTV, he was accompanied by three motorcyclists who were waiting at the junction.
“Immediately he collected the money at gunpoint, he mounted one of the motorcycles and rode off while others followed. He made away with the N500,000.”
PUNCH Metro observed as friends and relatives of the slain OPC leader lamented that they were not allowed access to firearms.
One of them, who did not identify himself, said, “We discussed it at our last meeting that we need to have guns to be able to function well.”
The deceased was described as an amiable leader, who devoted his time and energy to maintaining peace and order in the area.
Arrangements were being made for his burial when our correspondent left the area.
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said the police recovered one pistol with nine expended and 10 unexpended cartridges.
She said, “Today, at about 11am, one Adeyemi reported that he was attacked by two armed men on a motorcycle, who asked him to hand over the money he had withdrawn to them. He resisted and in the process, he was shot on his right leg which attracted passersby.
“The hoodlums, sensing danger, shot at one Olatunji Ogundele and Sanjo Akintoye. One of the culprits was overpowered by the crowd and lynched, while the other escaped.
“The victims were rushed to a hospital for treatment, while the corpse of the armed robber has been taken to the Yaba General Hospital mortuary.”