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Danfo, commercial, buses

Commercial bus robbers, “One-Chance’’, back on Lagos roads

Danfo, commercial, buses
By Edwin Nwachukwu
Lagos, Feb. 6, 2018 (NAN) Armed robbers operating in commercial buses, otherwise known as “One-Chance’’, are back on the prowl in Lagos, reports the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Some residents of Iyana Ipaja, Egbeda and Mosan Okunola areas, who recently fell victim, told NAN their tales of woe in the hands of the men of the underworld.
NAN gathered that the modus operandi of the “One Chance’’ robbers remained the same – luring and robbing unsuspecting commuters of valuables using the yellow buses early in the morning or late in the evening.
But what has changed, NAN learnt, is that the criminals drive victims to an ATM, obtain their pin numbers at gun point and withdraw large sums of money.
Narrating her ordeal, Mrs Philomina Nezianya, a hospital worker, said she was robbed by a “One Chance’’ gang at about 5.30 a.m. on Feb. 5 after boarding a commercial bus on her way to work in Ikeja.
“I entered a bus in front of Gowon Estate Police Station by Moshalasi bus stop; I was inside the bus with other people. I didn’t know it was “one-chance bus’’ that I entered.
“Few minutes into our journey, I was held on the neck by one of the men sitting behind while the two on my left began to throw punches at me as they forced me to lie down.
“They all held me down with their knees, they collected my hand bag, took my three ATM cards, two phones, wristwatch and a cash of N27,000 as the vehicle continued in motion.
“While I was being strangled, the criminals demanded for pin numbers of the ATM cards and threatened to kill me if I gave them wrong pin numbers. I pleaded that I will comply but that they should not kill me,’’ she said.
The victim added that one the criminals, referred to as “officer’’, told the others not kill her before they suddenly drop off one of their gang members along the road.
“About an hour later, one of them requested for acid to pour into my eyes; again I started begging them to spare my life.
“Later, they stopped somewhere and asked me to step down and that if I should shout, they will blast my head. Immediately their vehicle sped off, I shouted for help and sympathizers came to my rescue,’’ she said.
Nezianya said she was let off at Abule Egba area after they withdrew N150,000 each from two bank accounts and did N100,000 transfer to another bank account.
Another victim, Mrs Abiola Owusun, a trader, who narrated a similar ordeal, told NAN that she was robbed of N700, 000 on Dec. 19, 2017, after boarding a yellow-painted bus at Gate bus-stop on Ipaja-Ayobo road.
“I boarded the bus heading to Lagos-Island for business when surprisingly five male occupants, who were already inside, pounced on me and robbed me of the N300, 000 cash, meant to buy wares for the last Xmas sales.
“They also collected my two ATM cards, which they used in transferring of N200,000 from each of my accounts. They also collected my gold wedding rings, earrings as well as my wristwatch.
Owusun said that when the criminals were done with her, they drove to somewhere in Abule Egba area where they put pepper in her eyes.
“The thieves gave me N1,000 for transport after collecting all that I had,’’ the victim said.
Miss Anne Okpechi (not real name), a commercial bank staff, also told NAN how she was dispossessed of valuables and ATM cards after she boarded a commercial bus at Moshalasi bus stop in December 2017.
She said the thieves transferred over N500, 000 from her accounts and humiliated her for not providing them with secret code of her bank.
Mr Muyiwa Dare, a staff of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), who was also robbed, said that he went out early for business and boarded a commercial bus heading to Iyana- Ipaja at Adaba bus stop.
According to the victim, the bus veered off the route instead of going to their destination and, in the process, dispossessed them of their valuables.
Dare told NAN that the robbers dispossessed him of his lap top, phones and ATM Card at gun point after beating him to stupor.
He added that the criminals immediately used the card to withdraw huge sums from his bank account while still holding him captive.
“Before the withdrawal, the leader of the gang threatened to kill me if they discover that the PIN number is wrong,’’ he said.
When contacted the Lagos State Police Command spokesman, Mr Chike Oti, told NAN that the command had arrested over 30 suspects using commercial buses to rob people of valuables.
Oti said that the police had intensified efforts to curb the ugly trend and urged residents to be more careful and watchful before boarding commercial vehicles.

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