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Akwa Ibom: Robbers defy jungle justice, terrorise Uyo residents

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Despite the high level of jungle justice in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, robbers are still operating unperturbed. The pockets of armed robbery and burglary lately in the State have left residents in serious fear.

Recently, any criminal caught in the act risked being burnt alive, a situation which the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Odiko Macdon always condemned and advised people to hand over suspects to the police, even as he warned criminals to turn a new leaf.

Despite these warnings, criminals seem unrelentless, while angry mobs have continued to lynch them.

On Tuesday night, armed robbers invaded the University of Uyo health centre along Nwaniba road, Uyo.

The robbers were said to have attacked newborn mothers, nurses and visitors at the postnatal ward and carted away their phones, money and other valuables.

One of the victims, who just delivered a baby, narrated to journalists that: “two of them came into the postnatal ward with guns, threatening to shoot if we failed to surrender our valuables. They took our phones and money; they also removed some amount of money from the hospital drawers. Three others were outside the health centre.

“When the nurses heard their initial threats, they ran into the delivery rooms, locked themselves in; but we, the newborn mothers, were left at the mercy of the robbers.

“I am thankful to God that the idea to steal new babies was not part of their agenda. They took our handbags, emptied them and later threw them into nearby bushes.”

It was gathered that the UniUyo security unit was contacted as soon as the hoodlums stormed the premises of the health centre, but response only came after the robbery had long been concluded.

However, Odiko Macdon, the Police PRO, who condemned the robbery incident, suspected a link between a suspect lynched at the University gate on Friday afternoon and the hoodlums who invaded the health centre.

The PPRO wondered how someone would have the mind to dispossess people who already have medical conditions of their valuables, adding that the Commissioner, CP Olatoye Durosinmi was so miffed about the incident and had promised to get to the root of the incident.

More worrisome in Uyo is the new wave of crime perpetrated inside commercial mini-buses and tricycles, where robbers who pretend to be passengers would either rob their unsuspecting co-passengers using POS machine at gunpoint or force them to access mobile loan immediately using their (victims) phones.

A victim of the unfortunate incident, who is already sounding suicidal narrated her ordeal saying: “I boarded a bus from Plaza heading to Nwaniba. There were four people in the bus, two at the back, one behind the driver and the other one in the front seat.

“Towards the De Choice Mall, someone else joined and sat beside a lady.

“The bus driver asked if there was anyone that would alight before Utang street that he wanted to use Barracks road. Everyone said they would be dropping after. I didn’t have any fear because there was a woman on the bus.

“Just after Oliver Twist Eatery, I felt an object on my neck and when I turned, a guy behind pointed a gun at me asking for my phone.”

She said she gave the phone and they asked for her password which she did.

She said, “they opened my phone and went straight to Play Store to download the Fairmoney loan App. Unfortunately, I have used the app before and repaid the loan. So they didn’t need to download again.”

According to her, they opened the app and she was eligible to receive a loan of N650, 000.

“The criminals applied for the loan and the loan came in less than 5 minutes. The loan got to my account. They opened my app and asked for my password. They transferred the loan and the money I had in my account which was about N120,000 to another account. So they moved a total of N770,000 from my account.”

She added that by the time they got to the Fire Service, at Brooks Street, they pushed her out with her bag and phone.

“I was left to pay a loan of over N950,000. When I got to the bank to see if they could track them, it was then I realised that it was an Opay account opened without BVN and they cannot be tracked. The name on the account is Mallam Sahid,” he lamented.

She said she felt so heartbroken as she was left to pay about N165, 000 every month.

In one of his press briefings, the Commissioner of Police, CP Durosinmi advised the people to be security conscious and be mindful of the commercial vehicle they board.

He also advised the people not to use phones with which they receive their bank alerts while in public places so that criminal elements would not take advantage of that.

Akwa Ibom: Robbers defy jungle justice, terrorise Uyo residents

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