Anxiety as gunmen rob passengers, kill driver in Lagos
A yet-to-be-identified driver of a commercial bus has been shot dead by some suspected robbers in the Mile 2 area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the victim’s vehicle had been hijacked by the robbers, who were taking turns to dispossess passengers of their valuables, but he refused to let go of the bus.
He was said to have been shot and thrown out of the bus.
The assailants were reported to have abandoned the vehicle and fled after a team of the Rapid Response Squad pursued them on motorcycles.
A witness, Liberty Whitney, who was on the bus and had been dispossessed of her valuables by the robbers, told the police that the suspects were three in number.
The 20-year-old International Relations graduate of Lead City University, Ibadan, Oyo State, said the incident happened on Sunday, November 19, while she was on her way to school.
Whitney said she had boarded the bus at Oshodi en route to Mile 2.
She said, “It was around 9.30pm that I boarded the bus. I was the only passenger in the vehicle as of then. More people later joined and the bus had two vacant seats left.
“The bus left the park and was about to pick more passengers at Cele bus stop when two men in white native attires pointed guns at us. They asked that we remained calm and do as we were told. They then joined the bus.
“While other passengers were screaming and jumping down from the bus, I was held by a man that had joined the bus earlier when I tried to jump down as well. Like other passengers, I never knew the man was a member of the gang.
“When I made another attempt to jump down, one of the robbers pointed a gun in my face with a threat to shoot if I didn’t comply. One of them asked me for my phone, bag and money and when I was reluctant, he hit me in the neck with the butt of the gun. I couldn’t breathe well for some time. I handed over all I had with me instantly: travelling bag, polythene bag, laptop, phone, chargers and school certificates.
“I was allowed to jump down from the vehicle afterwards. A few minutes later, I heard a gunshot. A man was thrown off the bus. He had hanged on the back of the bus when he was shot by the side.”
She explained that after the gunshot, operatives of the RRS chased the vehicle on motorcycles.
The 20-year-old Warri, Delta State indigene said the robbers shot continuously into the air to scare the policemen who continued the chase.
Whitney, who claimed to have trailed the vehicle on a motorcycle, said she was relieved when the robbers abandoned the vehicle and fled at Mile 2.
She said she recovered all her valuables back, except for the phone which the gunmen took away.
The RRS said it was later discovered that the man who was shot was the driver of the bus.
He was said to have been rushed to the Critical Care Unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, where efforts to revive him failed.
“He was fighting for his bus, which was his only source of livelihood, when he was shot. The driver passed away on Thursday, November 23. He died of the gunshot injury he sustained,” the police said.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti, who confirmed the incident, said investigations were ongoing.
“The case has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, for further investigations,” he added.
Oti advised residents of the state not to endanger their lives by arguing with armed robbers. Punch