Robbers Attack Igbokwe, Family


The Publicity Secretary, Action Congress, AC, Lagos State, Nigeria, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, his wife and three of his children narrowly escaped death at the weekend when armed robbers attacked them and made away with his Toyota Prado SUV and other valuables.

The incident happened in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria when they were going to Covenant University to celebrate the Fathers’ Day with his children in the school.

According to Igbokwe, the robbers, armed to teeth, took advantage of a very bad road off Ota-Lagos Expressway leading to Idiroko Road to snatch the SUV, his handsets, money and other valuables.

“Everything was going fine until we made a U-turn at Gateway Hotel, Ota, to access a very bad road off Ota-Lagos expressway that will lead us to Idiroko road, cutting off the Ota under bridge that has become the shame of the nation and Ogun State. Few minutes into that very important shortcut to Idiroko road (yet neglected) our ordeal began.

“Three men inside a car, armed to the teeth overtook us, blocked us and ordered us to disembark after shooting several times into the air. And we did. They sandwiched us into the back seat and drove off. The shortcut is so bad that those on foot move faster than vehicles until you join Idiroko road, and hoodlums and armed robbers capitalise on this everyday to rob unsuspected commuters. The robbers took over the vehicle, one on the driver’s seat, the other beside him and one with us at the back,” he said.

“As they shot into the air, people ran for their lives leaving their vehicles. They moved faster on the bad road instilling fear on people as we moved. We even passed a police vehicle on that bad road without them knowing. I was sitting near the left back door of the Toyota Prado and as we approached the police I wanted to open the car door to jump down to alert the police but on a second though, I considered that it might be fatal.

“I had the chance to escape from the vehicle but I feared for my wife, my two young daughters aged 14 and 10, and my first son. I considered that if I did that two things may happen: They may become desperate and shoot them. Secondly if they manage to escape with my wife and children I may not live to receive them dead or alive. I decided not to jump out and stayed to see the end.

“At Covenant University , we begged them to yank us out and take the vehicle, they refused. They got to Agbara road and branched off, turning right and then into the bush. They made several turns, turning back and forth just to confuse us but we left the matter in the hands of God. When they got to their destination, they stopped and ordered us to get out. We did. They searched us and collected every other thing remaining and asked us to go into the bush,” Igbokwe narrated.

According to him, “as we made it to the bush, they took off. Soon the shock left us, and we started organizing ourselves on how to get home. Sound of vehicles led us to the main road and we saw a house and went there to ask for phone to make contacts. We contacted Lagos, and told my brother our story. I tried to contact my vehicle V-tracking Company but forgot the last two digits of the number they gave me.

Related News

“Eventually, I got my friend in Elizade who knows them and he helped me to get their contacts, but before then the hoodlums had crossed the border. The vehicle was sighted around Porto Novo. The family we met gave us N500 and my son had N250 with him. With that we got two okadas to take us to Agbara junction and from there we got a vehicle to take us to Covenant University.”

He stated that on their way back they saw a police check point and stopped by to narrate their predicament, but the police could do nothing while they came across several other police check-points when they were coming back unlike when they were being taken away by the robbers.

“We met two police check points but they had nothing with them that suggested they were policemen on duty. It was then I came to the unhappy conclusion that this is an organised crime, with the police, indigenes deeply involved. For instance when we came out of the bush to Agbara junction we noticed a group of men numbering about 10 sitting down across the main road looking at us.

“They knew we were not from that area and probably this is the drama they see every other day. To them, it is a way of life in that area – car snatching, smuggling, armed robbery and what have you.

“At Covenant University, our children had suffered tremendous psychological breakdown. They knew that something happened to us. I had told them that if they call my phone when I am in Nigeria and I did not pick the call for 30 minutes they should know that something is wrong. When they tried my two phones, my wife’s own and my first son’s phone and we did not reply, they knew instantly that something was wrong. By the time we saw them around 7.40pm they were totally devastated.

“They wept uncontrollably when we narrated our ordeal. All the food we prepared for them, their provisions, gifts, my motivational books, phones, ID cards, very important documents were all taken away,” he narrated.

He said he and his family later got to Lagos when one of his brothers brought his car to pick them at the Covenant University, adding that the trauma of the incident did not make his children to go to school the following day.

Igbokwe said that the V-tracking Company is working with Nigeria’s Interpol and that of Benin Republic to recover the stolen vehicle, praying that they succeeded, adding that “the robbers devastated and destabilized my family, stole my collection of cherished books. I learnt from Governor Fashola to pack my books inside the car and read when I am on the move. I lost all the books. I forgive the robbers but they must repent.”

—Kazeem Ugbodaga

Load more