[Evelyn Usman – PUNCH] There was panic in Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos , yesterday, following a clash between hoodlums suspected to be land grabbers. Saturday Vanguard gathered that the hoodlums who were armed with dangerous weapons stormed 5th Avenue Festac Town to lay claim to a parcel of land which had been under dispute but met another armed hoodlums.
During the ensuing gun battle ,some residents who were unsure of what was going on, concluded it was a bank robbery, following their assumption that it was the same location where armed robbery took place which led to the death of a nursing mother and her baby, few months ago.
Consequently, text messages were sent to loved ones to avoid the entire Festac Town, that robbers were attacking some banks around 4th Avenue and that several persons were killed by stray bullets. When news of the rumoured attack reached the Police, policemen from Festac division led by the Divisional Police officer, Mr Monday Agbonika, stormed the area.
When Saturday Vanguard visited 4th Avenue, an Armoured Personnel Carrier was sighted with over seven police vans including both conventional and Mobile policemen. Two helicopters belonging to the Lagos State Police command were also sighted patrolling the area.
There was no sign of trouble in the area as commercial activities went on as usual, while some of the residents expressed shock when approached on the rumoured bank robbery. One of them , Ogbona Nwenazie said “ I got the text message and had to rush home from work when effort to reach my wife on phone failed. I thought something could have happened to her.
Tension heightened when I saw an unusual number of policemen around here. But all that vanished when I saw my wife and children in the house. She told me nothing like that happened around this place”. Reacting to the text message ,the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Fatai Owoseni described it as rumour , advising Lagosians , particularly residents of Festac to go about their legal business without fear.
Owoseni in a statement signed by the command’s image maker, Dolapo Badmus , said : “ The attention of the Lagos state command has been drawn to a false alarm been raised and circulated on social media about Armed Robbery Operations going on at 4th Avenue, Festac Town, in three new generation banks and at the same time the killing of a customer yesterday, July 15, 2016. The command wishes to inform members of the public that this story is just a figment of imagination of the initiator, it is not true and so should be discarded.”