Many people were injured and property worth several millions of naira destroyed when hoodlums unleashed terror on Satelite Town, Lagos, over the weekend.
Already five persons have been arrested in connection with the attack.
It was gathered that thugs numbering over 100 stormed the town on Saturday night demanding money from shop owners and landlords, claiming that the money was to renew the ownerships of the properties.
It was gathered that trouble started for the residents especially shop owners when they refused to pay the money demanded by the thugs led by a community leader.
A police source said when the landlords and shop owners refused to pay the money, the thugs started looting and destroying everywhere including warehouses and shops.
Divisional Police Officer, Satellite Town Police Station, CSP Chike Oti, was said to have led some policemen to dislodge the hoodlums and succeeded in arresting five suspects.
Though the identities of those arrested were not known as of press time, a police source at Area E Command, FESTAC Town, said that the hoodlums were being controlled by a traditional chief who had constituted himself as a lord in Satellite town.
The police source said that among properties destroyed was a warehouse situated at number 470 Old Ojo Road, as well as trucks and cars parked on the road sides.
A resident, Uche Ezeudo, said that the hoodlums numbering over 100 allegedly overpowered the police who came to rescue the victims.
According to Ezeudo, the heavily armed thugs reportedly invaded shops, especially a warehouse situated at No 470, old Ojo Road belonging to a pioneer movie-maker, Igwe Gabosky Okoye, and looted property which included electronic sets, assorted drinks, sport equipment, and many other things.
He said: “We later heard that the hoodlums were sent by a traditional ruler to destroy warehouses, especially that of belonging to Igwe Gabosky for failing to pay him N15 million demanded as settlement for the said property. All attempts for Gabosky to show the thugs his Federal Government valid certificate of Occupancy ( C OF O) with number 23/23/77 registered at Federal land registry, Lagos in 1995 fell on deft ears”.
However, Gabosky Okoye has lamented that all efforts he made to alert the police of planned attack on his warehouse , failed because the gang has been terrorising not only residents of the community and environs ,but security agents too.
According to him,” the thugs looted shops, extorted money, snatched bags and phones in broad daylight. At night the thugs transformed into armed robbery gangs attacking motorists, passersby and pulling down houses, including my warehouse. They looted over N50 million worth of goods in my warehouse.
“In fact, they are a cultists as well as a terrorist group which if not checked, will be worse than Boo-Haram terrorist group in the near future. They have seized various properties from owners which they use as enclaves for a large number of thugs, armoury for their weapons and burial grounds for their unlucky 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 spoke on the condition of anonymity for security reasons, alleged that the thugs were not afraid of police and will openly face.
It was further learnt that last week, a team of over 100 policemen carried out a special operation in the area with a view to arresting the thugs in the area but they were openly confronted and even held hostage for hours by the heavily armed thugs.