By Adeleye Ajayi
As “One Chance” robbery gets on the increase again in Lagos, a staff of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) among others, fell victims of the commercial bus robbers.
The ICAN staff, Mr Muyiwa Dare, the organisation’s Corporate Affairs Manager and others were out early for work and businesses when they entered the bus going to Iyana Ipaja at Adaba bus stop unknown to them that the occupants were robbers.
The robbers instead of going to their destination veered off the route and in the process dispossessed them of their valuables.
Dare told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the robbers dispossessed him of his lap top, phones and ATM Card at gun point after beating him.
He added that they immediately used the card to withdraw a huge sum from his bank account while still holding him captive.
He said that he fell into their net as he entered a commercial bus, popularly called “Danfo” and usually painted in Lagos State colour at Adaba bus stop near Iyana Ipaja.
Narrating his ordeal further, he said that the driver suddenly diverted toward Ipaja, a suburb of Lagos.
Dare said that he initially questioned the sudden diversion and put up a resistance against the armed group.
“I calmed down when one of the robbers, suspected to be the leader of the gang, pointed a gun at my head.
“They also demanded for my PIN number, and then one of the robbers alighted near an ATM machine and withdrew nearly all the money in my account.
“Before the withdrawal, the leader of the gang had threatened to shoot me if they discover that the PIN number is wrong,” he told NAN.
Dare who sustained bruises on his face with dirt all over his suit, said they kept on beating him and eventually dropped him at Ayobo, a distance of about six kilometers from his boarding point.
He noted that before he was dropped off at the suburb of Lagos, their colleague had made withdrawals.
Dare, who was spotted in front of the Gowon Estate Police Station by members of staff of NAN going to work, said that he had reported the incident.
Dare was once the Maritime Correspondent of the Daily Independent newspapers.
Also, a member of staff of NAN was recently robbed in the same manner between Iponri and Costain Bus Stop, a distance of about 500 metres.
Sympathisers told NAN that incidents of “One Chance” robberies were becoming rampant in the Lagos metropolis and its suburbs.
They also observed that there was no presence of police patrols on major roads in the Ipaja-Egbeda axis.
NAN reports that the tactics used by the painted commercial bus robbers is that the sitting arrangement pre-supposes that the occupants are all passengers whereas they are members of the same gang.
After deceiving their unsuspecting passengers into the bus, the driver will speed off while they rob the victims of their valuables and ATM Cards and forcing them to divulge the PIN.
One of their members will then drop to make the withdrawals while they keep others hostage until money is withdrawn from their accounts.
They threaten their victims with death at gun point should the PIN given to them is wrong and eventually push them out of the moving vehicle.
Reacting to the incident, the Lagos State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, told NAN that victims of “One Chance” had not been giving the Police adequate information on incidents.
“Victims of such incidents are advised to report to the nearest Police Station.
“If he can identify faces, good and if his phones were stolen, we can track the number to get the criminals.
“Prompt report makes it easy for the Police to commence investigation.
“As regards the Iyana Ipaja/Ikotun route, I will alert the Area Commander on the issue to make sure surveillance is intensified on the route,’’ Famous-Cole said.