Armed robbers in the early hours of Monday shot dead Mr. John Ibizugbe, the head of the anti-robbery section at Area F Command, Lagos and his 22-year-old daughter, Bola.
PUNCH METRO learnt that Ibizugbe, an assistant superintendent of police, was killed around 3am in the Agbado area of Ogun State.
Narrating how the incident occurred, the Baale of Asorobi, Agbado, Mr. Oladipo Williams, said, “Around 3 am, I heard gunshots and already knew that armed robbers were at work.
“After sometime, I heard a woman wailing and speaking in Yoruba that someone should come to her aid.
“I proceeded to where the noise was coming from. When I entered the flat, I saw John lying face down while his daughter was also on the floor. Bola was still breathing. So, we called policemen so that we could still save her life.”
Williams added that after policemen arrived, an argument ensued on how Bola would be transported to a hospital.
“The policemen said someone must accompany them to take Bola to the hospital but her mum was still in shock. She said she would not leave her husband, adding that her husband must also be taken to hospital but the policemen said it was a standard procedure to leave a corpse at the crime scene in order not to jeopardise investigations,” he said.
Williams maintained that he could not accompany the policemen because he was still dealing with security issues as the hoodlums had also robbed some others in the compound.
PUNCH METRO learnt that due to the delay, Bola eve ntually died on her way to the hospital.
“After about two hours, the policemen eventually took Bola to the hospital but she died as they were approaching the hospital. Had she been rushed to the hospital on time, she might not have died,” Williams said.
When asked if the incident was a case of assassination or robbery, Williams said it was difficult to say because of the manner with which it happened.
He said, “The robbers, who were about 10, came to the area in two cars. I think they were coming from another robbery operation because they came with a big safe and put it next to a welder’s workshop where they tried for a long time to break the safe.
“They shot at the safe but it did not open until they used a huge hammer to break it. It was afterwards that they proceeded into the policeman’s compound.”
Williams added that the hoodlums must have made away with a lot of cash from the safe they brought.
“After they (robbers) had left, we found about N35,000 next to the safe. We also found certificates as well as some other documents and papers with names written all over them. I think they must have stolen the safe from a bank. Policemen have however taken everything as exhibits,” he said.
Williams decried the increase in robbery in the area, adding that the police were ill-equipped to fight crimes.
He said, “Scoundrels have made Agbado their hideout. The problem is compounded by the mere fact that Agbado is a border town between Lagos and Ogun states. So, hoodlums from the states come here to terrorise us.
“We appeal to Governor Ibikunle Amosu to assist the police in fighting crimes in the state. You can imagine, the nearest police division to us (Agbado Police Division) has only one functional patrol vehicle. This is very wrong.”
Our correspondent, who visited the scene of the crime at 5, Martha Williams Street, Asorobi, Agbado, saw people in the compound, mourning and recalling the tragic incident.
Bola’s friend, who came on a visit was shocked to hear about the tragic incident. While crying profusely, she said, “Bola was only 22. She recently finished from school. I still saw her a few days ago. What kind of life is this? She was too nice.”
When our correspondent visited the policeman’s apartment, the entrance was locked but it was smeared with blood.
A neighbour of the deceased, who craved anonymity because of the sensitivity of the incident, told our correspondent that the hoodlums robbed two other apartments before proceeding to the slain officer’s apartment.
He said, “Around 3:30am, about four hoodlums broke into my flat. One wore a mask while three others exposed their faces. These guys were heavily armed. They snatched my phones, my wife’s phones as well as my brother-in-law’s, they took N5,000 and the keys to my Jeep. Although they did not take my Jeep, they however shot my tyres so that no one would be able to follow them.”
The victim added that the hoodlums then headed upstairs where another neighbour was robbed before going to the flat of the slain officer.
“Supol John was shot in the ribs while his daughter was shot near her neck,” he said.
Another resident, who craved anonymity, said the incident could be assassination because the robbers did not steal anything from the policeman’s apartment.
He said, “John does not live here. He had two wives and was usually at the other wife’s house. Could it be a coincidence that the hoodlums came on the day that he was around? Also, why didn’t they steal anything from his apartment?
“John was the officer in charge of anti-robbery. It is very possible that the hoodlums came for revenge.”
Our source also decried the increase in crimes in the area, adding that all efforts made by residents to reduce them had proved abortive.
“We pay security dues here. We have vigilance group and security guards all over the place; yet, robbers continue to terrorise us. The government should please come to our rescue,” he said.
It was gathered that the corpses had been deposited at a nearby mortuary, while the wife of the policeman was still in shock and being tended by her relatives.
When our correspondent visited the Area F Command, Ikeja, colleagues of the slain officer were seen discussing the last moments they had with him.
A senior officer, who craved anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the incident, described the deceased as a hard-working officer and team player.
When asked if the officer’s death was assassination, the officer said, “From what we were told, it could be because the hoodlums did not steal anything from his residence. His phones and his gun were next to his corpse.
“The robbers waited for him outside his apartment and they lured his daughter to open the door after they had unplugged his generator and she came to check it.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Samuel Jinadu, and his Ogun State counterpart, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, both confirmed the incident.
“Investigations are still ongoing but I can assure you that the culprits will be brought to book,” Jinadu said.
It was learnt from a police source that the case would soon be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Abeokuta for further investigation.