There was a fresh attack by suspected kidnappers on Winners Estate in the Adamo, Ikorodu area of Lagos State, during which the hoodlums engaged the police in a shootout for three hours.
Our correspondent learnt that during the shootout, a site engineer, identified only as Isaac, was killed by the rampaging kidnappers.
PUNCH Metro had exclusively reported on Monday that a pastor in the estate, identified only as Patrick, was kidnapped by gunmen after a house fellowship and taken away for three days, while another resident was abducted on the day Patrick regained his freedom.
It was also reported that some residents of the estate vacated their houses due to the panic created by the kidnappers, who were said to have their hideouts in the swampy forest around the estate.
PUNCH Metro learnt that on Monday around 1pm, the gunmen invaded the estate again and later engaged the police in a gun duel, during which Isaac was shot dead.
The policemen were said to be from a police post built inside the Babington Macaulay Junior Secondary School, which shared boundaries with the estate, the Imota Police Division and the Area N Command, Ijede.
When our correspondent visited the estate on Tuesday, the area was deserted.
One of the residents, who spoke to PUNCH Metro on the telephone, on condition of anonymity, said the kidnappers got wild when a woman brought a ransom to be paid for her kidnapped husband, and they noticed that some policemen had trailed her.
He said, “A certain woman came to pay ransom to the kidnappers at Mowo Nla, an area near our estate. The woman earlier came on Sunday as the kidnappers told her. Then on Monday, the suspicious movement of the woman caught the attention of some policemen attached to the Babington Macaulay Police Post, and they went after her.
“They trailed her to the hideout where the kidnappers were supposed to collect the ransom. The presence of the policemen provoked the gunmen, who came out of their hidings and began to shoot sporadically.
“They shot dead Isaac and injured other people in the process. The attack lasted from 1pm till around 5pm. Later, policemen came from the area command to remove the corpse of the engineer. The area commander assured us that his men would do the needful. But nobody has confidence to return to the estate.”
Another eyewitness said the site engineer was shot dead on the suspicion that he was a spy for the policemen.
She said, “When we began to hear the sporadic gunshots, I fled without locking my shop. The gunmen angrily broke all my bottles. They destroyed other property.
“Isaac was pursued to a block molding industry where they shot him. They must have felt he was a spy for the policemen. The area commander of Ijede, and his team later arrived after the sporadic shootings. More residents have deserted the estate.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, who confirmed the incident, said the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, had ordered the Area Commander, the divisional police officers in the area and the commander of the Rapid Response Squad, to ensure that the assaults ended.
She said, “The command received a report that some hoodlums were about to operate in the Adamo area.
“The RRS operatives combated them and in the operation, a man was hit by the bullet of the hoodlums. The command is on the trail of the fleeing suspects and we are hopeful we will get them soon.”