Many were injured and several Million Naira worth of property damaged when the hoodlums unleashed havoc over the weekend at Satellite Town, Lagos.
Five suspects in connection with the attack have already been charged.
It was found that Saturday night, thugs numbering over 100 ravaged the city for the money of shopkeepers and property owners, claiming that the money had to renew properties.
The problem for the residents, in particular the shop owners, was recovered when they refused to pay the money demanded by the thugs led by a local leader.
When the landlords and owners of the shops refused to pay the rent, a police source said the thugs started to pillage and destroy warehouses.
Satellite Town Police Station (CSP) Police Departmental Officer Chike Oti has reportedly led some police officers to disband hoodlums and have managed to arrest five suspects.
Although their identities were not known as press time, FESTAC Town, a policeman in Area E Command, said that a traditional chief who himself had constituted lord, in the city of Satellites, controlled the hoodlums.
The police stated that the warehouse on the 470 Old Ojo Road and cars parked on the side of the road are among the properties that were damaged.
One resident, Uche Ezeudo, said that over 100 hoodlums allegedly overstated the police that had come to rescue the victims.
Ezeudo said that heavily armed thugs have invaded businesses, in particular warehouses in No 470, old Ojo Road, owned by a pioneer filmmaker, Igwe Gabosky Okoye, a looted property that included electronic sets, various drinks, sports facilities and so forth.
He said: “We later heard that the hoodlums were sent by a traditional ruler to destroy warehouses, especially those belonging to Igwe Gabosky for failing to pay him N15 million demanded as a settlement for that property. Gabosky’s attempt to show the thugs his Federal Government valid Occupancy Certificate (C OF O) with number 23/23/77 registered at the Federal Land Registry, Lagos in.
But Gabosky Okoye complained that he did not make every effort to alert police to the planned attack on his warehouses, because the gang terrorized not only local and community residents, but also security agents.
According to him, “the thugs have plundered stores, extortions, picked bags and telephones in the daytime, transformed into gangs of armed robbery, targeting drivers, passengers and pulling homes, including the warehouses, by night; they’ve stolen more than N50 million goods in my warehouse. They have seized different properties from owners who use them as enclaves for a large number of thugs, armor for their weapons, and burial grounds for their unfortunate victims.
“I am appealing to the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Zubairu Muazu, to do something drastic as the combined teams of policemen from E Command cannot march the large number of the thugs.What we need in the area is Mobile Police Force.We are in for trouble.”
A resident, who for security reasons spoke of the condition of anonymity, alleged that the thugs had no fear and would face the police openly.
Last week, a group of more than 100 police officers launched a special operation in the city with the intention of arresting criminals but were threatened openly and held for hours by heavily armed men in custody.