A resident has narrated how he was almost kidnapped in Lagos by armed bandits parading themselves as men of the Nigerian Police Force in Ojota, Lagos Mainland.
According to the writer who narrated his experience in a lengthy post, he stated that he thought to share details of his ordeal to allow others learn.
He added that he was saved by a roadside hawker who kept telling him that the armed men were not Police officers before the same seller approached an officer of the Nigerian Army who rescued him from the bandits who had already entered into his car.
According to him; “I dropped my wife at Alausa and headed towards Yaba on Thursday 6 February, 2020. I passed the toll gate, took the ramp to link up Ikorodu Road at Ojota after Waterways. Just as I got to the ramp, around 8:30am, I noticed a long stretch of traffic, so I decided to check Google maps so as to know how long I’d be in the traffic. I made my peace with what Google maps showed me. It was RED! So, I tuned my radio to a music station and I was enjoying the music. About 5 minutes later, I was surrounded by four men. One of them was in police uniform. The rest were in mufti. So, I was like ‘kilode?’ One of them who acted as the in-charge, flashed an ID card that had police inscribed on it. But it was so fast, I couldn’t read the name on it. Or maybe I wasn’t even interested in reading it in the first place. I guess all I wanted to know was what my offense was.”
He continued saying; “So, two of them gathered at the first passenger’s side, one was by my side and the one in police uniform was still in the front of the car. Those by the passenger’s side beckoned that I rolled down. I did. I was told that they saw me hold my phone some minutes ago and before I knew it, one of them opened the door and the guy posing as their in-charge ordered the other to take me to the station. So, I started driving and I kept quiet. Now this is not the first time police personnel had entered my car like this and on those occasions, when I get to their station, I just request to see the DPO and most times things get resolved although I might have to place some calls too.
“I was in this traffic for more than 30 minutes. The traffic was sluggish. As we moved for like 5 minutes, the one in police uniform entered and not long the other two joined. Immediately they had all entered, the one that was beside me, that entered first announced to others that they shouldn’t worry that I seem like a gentleman. He told them that when we get out of the traffic they would discuss with me and let me go. I just kept quiet. I was actually angry that I might get to my destination late. Later, the one in police uniform, who by this time was sitting in the line of sight of the rearview mirror, called someone, put his phone on speaker and told him that they just arrested someone and that they were about to ‘settle’ with him. The guy on the other end of the phone responded that they should not ‘settle’ with me that they have to bring me to the station. I felt like ‘shebi na station, let’s go there’.”
Narrating his experience further, he said; “Shortly afterwards, I noticed that one of the street hawkers was trying to get my attention. When he saw that I was trying to ignore him, he positioned himself in such a way that I could not but see him. He then started mumbling some words which weren’t comprehensible. The glasses were rolled up. After I tried to read his lips, I discovered he was saying that they were fake police. Sincerely, at that point I just felt I should ignore him. I have heard and read about incidence like that but it couldn’t be happening to me. So, I kept my focus on what I would tell their DPO. However, this guy kept following my vehicle and kept repeating that they were fake. So, I decided to verify his claim. When the one in police uniform was distracted, I adjusted the rearview mirror to check his name on his uniform. That was when I realized that the name on the name tag had been tampered with and could not be read. Then I knew I was in trouble!
“So, I started thinking. I thought to myself that upon all the American action movies I had watched, I should have one idea on how to rescue myself but I was bereft of ‘rescueable’ ideas. Lol. I then noticed a vehicle beside me. The passenger in front was in army uniform. I tried to communicate with him but he was too distracted by the discussions they were having. I was the least of his concern. The first thought that came to my mind was to stop the car and run away, but I wasn’t sure if the guy right behind me was armed. So, I concluded that I would pretend that I wanted to buy fuel at the Total gas station just as the ramp from the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway merged with Ikorodu Road at Ojota. When I get to the fuel pump, I would switch off the ignition, remove the key, take my phone and ‘pick race’. All along, the street hawker, was still following us and still trying to tell me they were fake. He felt I was yet to understand what he was saying.”
On how he was saved, he said; “Just as I was about to get to the entrance of the filling station, the soldier in the car beside me came down from his vehicle and ordered me to pull over. I avidly obeyed him. He then went to the other side of the car and asked the guy beside me to identify himself. The speed with which the four of them opened the doors and sped off was beyond comprehension. Immediately I started shaking visibly. I was later told that that was not the first time they had been there.”
“The guy who alerted me told me that the first time he saw them there was when real policemen came to chase them away. The second time he saw them, they ordered the driver of the car to come down, collected the car keys from him, asked him to sit at the back and they drove him off. So, when he wasn’t sure I heard him, he had to go and beg the soldier to come and rescue me. Did they succeed in going away with valuables, that’s inconsequential. What’s important is God’s protection,” he concluded.