A woman and her daughter were Tuesday killed by spray bullets during a robbery on Access Bank and Diamond Bank in Festac Town, Lagos which lasted several hours.
The woman, identified as Ebele Peters, and her daughter were reportedly hit by stray bullets inside their flat during the operation on 4th Avenue .
Area Commander, Area E, Festac Division, Frank Mba, who briefed newsmen on the incident, said the Command received information about the robbery at about 8.25am.
Mba said: “Today, October 13, 2015, at about 8.25am, the command received information on sporadic shooting going on at 4th avenue, Festac Town.
“A joint team of policemen from the Area ‘E’ Command and Festac Division promptly responded to the incident.
“On arrival at the scene, the Policemen engaged a gang of armed robbers numbering well over 40 all dressed in military camouflage and armed to the teeth.
“The police engaged them in a fierce gun battle that lasted several minutes notwithstanding the clear numerical disadvantage of the police at the beginning of this operation.
“The hot exchange of fire between the policemen and the robbers who incidentally had shared themselves into two groups by simultaneously robbing two banks forced the robbers to abruptly end their operation.
“They consequently abandoned the operation and they were also forced to abandon the sum of N27 million, but as they were fleeing they were equally forced to abandon a total of 240 live AK-47 life ammunition.
“The money was later recovered by the police and escorted to another branch of Diamond Bank located somewhere along 2nd Avenue where the money was deposited.
“The scene of crime was later cordoned off while support teams from the command headquarters, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad Ikeja and also the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Panti, as well as men of the Nigerian Army from Ojo Cantonment joined us.”
Mba added that the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, has commenced investigations so that the suspects will be rounded up in time.
He said: “Investigation has since commenced and the CP has vowed to do everything humanly and operationally possible to ensure that the perpetrators of this criminal act are rounded up within the shortest possible time and brought to book.
“Within the two banks, nobody died but someone sustained injury at Diamond Bank and the person is responding very well to treatment.
“On the part of the law enforcement agencies, no injuries, no death recorded.
“We are working on the report of the two-year-old baby that got shot.
“We heard that as well.
“We are trying to liaise with the community to locate and deal with the incident.
“Mopping up operation is still ongoing and if there are other information that are not available, we will get it across.
“Preliminary information shows that they came through the waterways and equally exited through the waterways.”
Mba, however, added that the Marine Police had been actively involved in curtailing the activities of the hoodlums and pointed out the challenges.
He said: “Their operations spread across every part of the state where there are waterways from Badagary to Epe, Lagos-Island, Oworonsoki, Ikorodu and up to Festac.
“But you must equally understand that depending on the size of the boat of the Marine Police, there are some waterways that are still inaccessible.
“There are some waterways which the boat of the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Police cannot access if the waterway is not big enough to carry those operational boats.
“I want to re assure you that there are on-going massive operations to block all waterways in Lagos and that operation by God’s grace will be extended to Festac.”