Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bus runs over and kills 14 passengers during robbery

At least 14 passengers were killed on Tuesday along Zaraki-Kabaa Junction, Okene-Lokoja Road, when a truck ran over them where they were lying face down in obedience to the order of some armed bandits who had earlier forced them out of the luxury bus in which they were travelling to Abuja.

An eyewitness told The Moment that the bus owned by Chisco Transport Company with registration number XL 300 ABC, was travelling from Lagos to Abuja when it was forced to pull up by armed robbers at about 5 a.m. Tuesday.

It was learnt that the robbers who used a vehicle to block the side of the road flagged down the bus, and immediately ordered all the passengers to come out and lay flat on the road before they started robbing them of their belongings one after another.

The source further said that while the robbery operation was going on, another incoming luxury bus and a truck also heading for Abuja axis, without knowing what was happening, allegedly ran over them, killing virtually everybody that laid on the ground.

The Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Kogi Command, Mr. Sunday Maku who confirmed the incident said his men got to the scene of the accident after receiving some distress calls. He said 14 persons who were already confirmed dead had been deposited at the Federal Medical Center (FMC) and the state Specialists Hospital (SH), Lokoja.

He further said that the incident took place at about 5 a.m. on Tuesday, noting that it was difficult to identify the bodies because they were mangled beyond recognition, adding that those whose relations travelled on the bus from Lagos to Abuja should check the FMC and SH Lokoja for possible identification of the victims.

Maku warned travellers to shun traveling in the night, stressing that the dangers it pose outweigh its advantages (if there is any at all).

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Ajayi Okansanmi, also confirmed the incident said only 13 people lost their lives in the incident.

The long drawn search by the anti-crime unit of the Kogi State Police Command paid off early hours of yesterday when the two dare devil armed robbers were shot dead by the police at Okene in Okene local government area of the state.

The police, in a show of bravery on their return to the state command from the operation, shot sporadically into the air. The development attracted a lot of people who trooped out en masse to catch a glimpse of the lifeless bodies of the gang leader, simply identified as Azeez, and one of his accomplices who have been terrorising the people of Okene local government and its environs for many months.

Last week, The Moment learnt that about four of the robbers were arrested and brought to the command for investigation, which led to yesterday's gun battle between the police and the robbers. The superior fire- power of the police eventually killed Azeez and his member gang while others escaped with various degrees of bullet wounds.

The Moment gathered that they held Azeez and his gang responsible for the killing of a Police Inspector in Okene early this year.

The development led the state Commissioner of Police Mr. John Abakasanga to have put his men on red alert for apprehension of the robbers. The intelligence gathering of the Okene Divisional Police Command paid off with information that led to arrest of four members of the gang.

Items recovered from the dead robbers include various designs of army uniforms, charms, machetes, AK 47 and other dangerous weapons.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of the command confirmed the incidents, and said the suspect will be paraded after conclusion of investigation.

The Moment

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