Hoodlums smash car window, attack newspaper staff in Apapa gridlock

Three staff of Vanguad newspapers, the General Editor, Adekunle Adekoya; Assistant Chief Sub-Editor, Etop Ekanem and a Senior Sub-Editor, Oboh Agbonkhese, were Tuesday afternoon attacked by hoodlums while trapped in the notorious Apapa gridlock.

The trio were attacked on Ijora bridge at 1.35pm while on their way to work at Vanguard’s corporate headquarters, located at Kirikiri Canal, off Berger Yard Bus Stop, along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.

One of the victims, Etop Ekanem said one of the hoodlums broke the side window of the vehicle they were riding in and took valuable documents, and money.

“One of them broke the side window and even destroyed the bumper. From the shattered glass, they took the General Editor’s bag containing documents and cash, as well as his blazer jacket.

“In my attempt to prevent one of the hoodlums from taking the items away, I sustained injury on one of my fingers. The incident lasted 20 minutes.

“They also attacked other cars in the traffic. Some motorists even left their vehicles and ran away.

“They were just shouting, attacking people and vandalizing vehicles. I did not see any gun with any of them. I do not know if they had hidden it somewhere,” Ekanem narrated in a report published by the newspaper yesterday.

According to Adekoya, “somebody hit me from behind. As I made to find out what happened, I heard a bang on the rear window glass, which immediately cascaded into shards of broken glass.

“A fellow reached in, opened the door, and made for my work bag containing cash, bank cheque books, and other documents. Etop struggled with the fellow, got wounded and started bleeding. He let go of the bag.

“Another member of the gang u-turned, reached into the car again, removed my blazer, and took it away, all in broad daylight. The attack began at 1.35p.m.”

Etop added that among other victims was a woman who bled profusely from an injury to her wrist. The hoodlums had vandalized their car and the driver of the vehicle kept asking “where is the nearest hospital?”

When contacted to find out why no policeman was stationed along that axis to control traffic, spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Kenneth Nwosu, disclosed that policemen were at one end of the bridge.

He added that when report of the attack reached the Police, a team of policemen was drafted to scene, where two of the suspected hoodlums were arrested.

He added that efforts were still on to apprehend other fleeing members.

He could, however, not state whether items stolen from Vanguard’s General Editor, Adekoya, were recovered from the suspects.

The area is one of the designated points for Navy patrol since the launch of a task force, ‘Operation Gbale” by the former Flag Officer Commanding, FOC, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ilesanmi Alade, to proffer a lasting solution to the traffic gridlock that had kept Apapa on lockdown for years.

A senior Naval officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, pointed out that the control of traffic was not the constitutional responsibility of the Navy, but that it decided to help out because of the security implication of such situation.

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