Nigeria: Black Sunday in Lagos – Military Weapons Robbers Used Under Probe

Shocked by the sophisticated weapons recovered from suspects arrested in connection with the Sunday, September 9, robbery in Lagos, (a day already tagged BLACK SUNDAY) security forces are set to launch investigations into the source of the arms. Some of the weapons, especially rocket launchers and general purpose machine guns, Sunday Vanguard can authoritatively reveal, are normally used by the military. Seven persons, among them three policemen, were killed by the robbers who struck in different parts of the state.

The arrested suspects and recovered arms were paraded by the police last week.

Lagos State police commissioner, Mr. Umar Manko, told Sunday Vanguard at the weekend, that the day of robbery was a bad day in Lagos. Sources in Lagos and Abuja said the security services are interested in finding out how the suspected robbers came about the ammunition.

“Certainly, we want to know how they came about the arms and ammunition”, one of the sources explained. According to the source, the security agencies are making efforts to find the source of the weapons.

He went on: “To have found that large quantity of sophisticated weapons in the hands of people who are not supposed to have them, we felt very surprised because these weapons are meant to be found in the hands of people who are supposed to defend the territorial integrity of this country.

If they are found in the hands of criminals whose primary purpose is to destroy, one who has the responsibility of enforcing the law will not be happy about it and if I tell you we weren’t shocked about the arms, I am telling you a lie because I couldn’t imagine criminals having that kind of arms in their possession, including rocket launchers and general purpose machine guns and high caliber weapons that are not ordinarily used by security operatives”.

Sunday Vanguard was made to understand that the arms, after investigation, will return to the service they came from.

Another source stated: “The step we will take first is to identify the sources of these arms. All the arms have numbers. Maybe at one time or the other, they were allocated to some security officers. We will try to locate those which came from the services and we will return them to the services. And by the time we finish with that, those we can not identify the source, of course, will be destroyed. There are procedures for that”.

Lagos State police commissioner, who spoke exclusively to Sunday Vanguard, said his men were on the trail of other suspects in the Lagos robbery who are still on the run.

Manko’s words: “We will make efforts to get them and we are already making efforts to get them. I hardly beat my chest. People only need to be patient with us. When the robbery happened, we told you that it wasn’t going to take us time to arrest the master minds. By the grace of Allah, today, we have some of them. Those who are still on the run we are going to get them wherever they are. They might be at large now but their arrest will mean a lot to residents of the state and security agents. We will not go to bed. We will go after the robbers with all our strength”.

On what the police are doing to make Lagos safe, he said, “We are doing all we can to checkmate criminals, but that is not the duty of the police alone. It is the duty of everyone in the state. I think it is the responsibility of everyone in the state to look out for criminals and arms and alert the security agencies. In Lagos State, we are collaborating with all the security agencies to ensure that we secure the residents. So, it is a task, a very huge one for that matter for security agencies in Lagos to ensure that we checkmate criminals”.

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