There was an uproar on Tuesday at Powerline area of Ejigbo, Lagos State, after a gun-wielding suspected thief attempted to snatch a motorcycle from its rider.
But for the timely intervention of the police in the area, led by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), CSP Bisi Okwuwobi, the suspect would have been set ablaze.
The suspect identified simply as Garuba, as gathered, entered the motorbike posing as a passenger.
However, on reaching Powerline, eyewitnesses said he brought out a locally-made pistol and ordered the rider to willingly hand over the key to him, threatening to shoot him if he resisted.
The alarm raised by the rider alerted some members of a local vigilance group in the area who apprehended the suspect.
Eyewitnesses alleged that some of the suspect’s members accosted the vigilance group members who attempted to free their colleague, alleged to have been beaten to near coma. “But for the timely intervention of policemen from Ejigbo division, the situation would have been bloody as both sides were spoiling for war,” said a police source.
Eyewitnesses further stated that the police presence did not deter the suspect’s allies, as they resisted attempt to take him to the station.
An eyewitness, Chioma Uzoma said: “This led to a fracas, as some hoodlums threatened to attack the policemen and local vigilance men if the man was taken to the station.
However, in the end, the police were able to quell the situation and took the suspect to the station, after he was made to show the crowd the gun with which he attempted to snatch the motorcycle.”
Spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, Chike Oti, who confirmed the arrest, said no casualty was recorded, neither was it an ethnic fight, as rumoured in some quarters.