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Nigerian Army links Lagos bullion van attack to EndSARS protest

By monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Nigerian Army has linked gunmen attack of a bullion van in Lagos State to violence that trailed the peaceful protest embarked upon by youths to kick against brutality and extra-judicial killings by dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the state.

It said that perpetrators were suspected criminals that hide under the pretense of supporting the protest to attack Nigerian Police station in the state, kill the officers and set the structure ablaze as well as looted arms and ammunition found within the premises.

The military, while confirming that atleast one person was killed, added that the perpetrators like other hoodlums in Lagos, have become emboldened, after looting arms from stations and that this was why they could be courageous to attack a bullion van.

Speaking before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the Lekki incident on Saturday, the Commander of 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island, Lagos, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Taiwo, made the disclosure.

Taiwo’s statement came barely 48 hours after the gunmen attacked a bullion van at the entrance of Blenco supermarket, disrupting activities on Ado road in Ajah.

He identified one of the victims as a commercial motorcycle operator popularly called Okada rider that was caught up during the operation that lasted for several minutes at the location.

Taiwo further disclosed that previous attacks in the state were never on financial institutions considering expertise and arms needed to vandalise their facilities before cash could be cart away.

The commander, whose area of monitoring was starts from Lagos-Island and ends in Epe, noted that intelligence reports at their disposal further showed that the insecurity rate has nosedived after the protest.

He hinted that the situation could further be worse during yuletide season, a time when many aspire to rake in money to celebrate during the period.

Taiwo identified Jakande axis in Lekki and some other slums in Ajah, Eti-Osa Local Government to have become a coven where hoodlums reside and launch different attacks on citizens in the state.

It was gathered that the gunmen, aside from vandalizing the bullion van, also attacked a water tanker, forcing the driver and motor-boy to scamper for safety.

An eyewitness narrated that the gunmen attacked the bullion van a few minutes after 5 pm when it arrived entrance of the shopping arena and immediately shot at the tires to prevent the van from leaving the scene.

The eyewitness added that the gunmen, who drove in a Toyota Sienna Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), shot at the van and other vehicles that were caught in the web of the robbery attack.

Another resident, who witnessed the attack, said that the gunmen sporadically to scare passers-by and other road users from interfering in their operation.

According to him, the gunmen escaped from the scene through the lagoon after officers of Nigerian Army, who were attracted to the axis by gunshot sounds, arrived.

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