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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Four die as gunmen battle on Lagos streets

It was a gun battle on Wednesday after rival hoodlums invaded Coates, Odunfa, Ondo, Jebba, Kano and Glover streets in the Ebute-Meta area of Lagos State, exchanging fire with one another and with policemen, during which four persons were killed.

Our correspondent learnt that the four deceased comprised three hoodlums shot dead by policemen during the exchange, while a resident, identified as Kazeem Pangolo, was killed by the gunmen’s stray bullets.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the hoodlums stormed the area at about 9am and shot sporadically, forcing residents and shop owners to lock themselves in.
When our correspondent got to the area around 11am on Tuesday, policemen from Denton, Sabo, Adekunle, Area C Command, and the Rapid Response Squad were seen on patrol.
Most shops and houses were also locked, but some residents were seen peeping from their doors.
One of them, who gave his name simply as Babawale, told PUNCH Metro that the Baale’s son was one of those who sustained bullet injuries from the gunmen’s onslaught.
He said, “The hoodlums actually started trouble on Kano Street since Tuesday. It was then that they killed Kazeem.
“The Baale’s son was also hit by bullets. He is a footballer, and his legs were damaged by the bullets. This morning again, the hoodlums began to shoot sporadically and everyone went into hiding.
“Some of them faced the policemen, exchanging fire with them. Thereafter, they began to run toward Ebute (shore) to escape on the waterways.”
Our correspondent learnt that although the gunmen ran towards Ebute , near the Third Mainland Bridge, to escape in boats, some of them were trapped.
Some policemen said two of the gunmen were shot dead, while the third was shot at the shore.
Our correspondent observed as policemen from Denton division carried a bullet-ridden body on a ladder to the van. Four suspected hoodlums hiding in the shanties were also arrested by the police.
An executive of a vigilance group, Ishola Musibau, said the government should empower vigilance groups to keep an eye on the hoodlums.
He said, “They are not robbers. They are gunmen who invaded the area to foment trouble. The injured people were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Railway Compound and the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, for treatment.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Joe Offor, said there was a gun battle in the area between the Eiye and the Black Axe gangs, during which two persons were shot dead.
He said, “It was a rival gang disturbance, and in the process of the dispersal of the hoodlums, one of them was fatally wounded. Five others were arrested, while four injured residents have been taken to a hospital.”

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