How robbers attacked us, killed UNILAG student – Witness
Fresh facts have emerged about how a 200-level student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Adekunle Agboola, was killed by suspected armed robbers at the weekend.
Mr Agboola was shot dead on Saturday night by suspected robbers on Moore Road, near the university campus, in the Yaba area of Lagos.
An unidentified individual had reportedly accosted a campus shuttle that was conveying passengers from the Yaba bus stop to the campus and snatched a mobile phone from one of the passengers, Opeyemi Aiyeolowo.
But Ms Aiyeolowo, a 300-level student of the Department of Business Administration, who wept bitterly while speaking to PREMIUM TIMES, said contrary to media reports that the deceased pursued the phone-snatcher, another robbery gang attacked them while seeking means to retrieve the stolen phone.
How it happened
Ms Aiyeolowo said she was returning to the campus from an event on Saturday, 3 June, and boarded a campus shuttle at the Yaba bus stop.
“I was sitting close to the window in the back seat and I was using the phone. Suddenly, just on Moore Road, right behind the Atan cemetery, I just noticed someone dragging my phone with me while the bus was moving. Because it was sudden, the individual successfully snatched it, ran towards the cemetery and scaled the fence.”
The student said her shout instantly aroused the concern of other passengers who she noted expressed “shock and surprise at the same time.”
“I pleaded with the driver to stop if it would be possible to negotiate for the return of the phone, but the driver declined,” she added.
Ms Aiyeolowo said she had never met the deceased until that night. She said he must have sensed the tension in her “and the worry about the materials on the phone because we were preparing for exams.”
“So while the driver refused to wait, Adekunle volunteered to follow me if we could trace the snatcher and possibly negotiate the return of the phone. So we alighted from the bus and approached a private security man in one of the houses on the road,” she said.
Amidst sobs, Ms Aiyeolowo said the security guard told them that since the snatcher had scaled the fence into the cemetery, it would be difficult to trace him.
Another gang surfaces
The student said as soon as they left the security guard, the deceased suggested that they approached the “Domino pizza joint” to see if there would be men or police officers to explain the situation to.
“But as we were approaching the junction, two other men just stopped us and demanded our phones again. I was scared and told them I didn’t have a phone and that it was already snatched.
“They demanded Adekunle’s phone and he responded that it was in his pocket but before you know it, one of the two guys just pulled out a gun and shot him in the head. I was scared to my marrow and as they ran to one direction, I ran to another direction.”
She said when police officers arrived, she returned to the scene. “I was then invited to the Sabo police station where I was asked to write a statement before I was released late in the night.”
She said the body of the deceased was deposited at a morgue at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba.
Another witness speaks
Speaking on the incident, an elderly woman, who claimed to be a passenger in the vehicle when the incident happened but asked not to be named, said she witnessed the scene and that she was surprised that “reports flying around claimed the deceased pursued the phone snatcher.”
“I was on the bus when the phone was snatched. Though since the driver said he could not stop, I did not alight too but it was obvious that the robber had escaped for some time before the girl and the murdered student agreed to alight from the bus,” the source explained.
The woman said the misinformation had compelled her to visit the office of the Dean of Students’ Affairs (DSA), Musa Obalola, a professor, to correct the fake news out there.
Speaking on the development, the DSA, Mr Obalola, condoled with the family of the deceased, even as he pledged that the institution would collaborate with the security operatives towards ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to book.
He said the death of the 21-year-old student who was billed to join his mates to sit the second-semester examination that started on Monday was unfortunate and sad.
“It is shocking and depressing. UNILAG is not known for such but this is a call on the government and the security architecture, especially in the state, to improve on intelligence capacity and sanitise our environment,” Mr Obalola said.
“As the dean of the students’ affairs, every single student of the university is my child and you can imagine how painful it is for a father to lose a child. I am sad and I pray that God grants the family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”
Earlier, the university, in a statement made available to the media through the Principal Assistant Registrar, Communication Unit, Adejoke Alaga-Ibraheem, noted that the circumstance surrounding the death was being investigated.
The statement added that the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Folasade Ogunsola, “on behalf of the entire university community, commiserates with the family of Mr Agboola, and prays that God grants the bereaved family the strength and fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.”
This newspaper learnt that the matter has been transferred from Sabo police station to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, for further investigations.
Investigation Ongoing – Police
The Police Public Relations Officer in Lagos, Ben Hundeyin, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that as of Wednesday no suspect had been arrested but that efforts were on to apprehend the criminals.
He said as soon as the autopsy was conducted on Thursday, the body would be released to the family for burial.
This newspaper confirmed that the deceased was buried on Thursday afternoon in the Agege area of Lagos after the body was retrieved from the police.
“Cemetery harbouring criminals”
Some students and workers of the university, who mourned the deceased, urged the government and the security operatives “to comb the Atan cemetery because it harbours criminals.”
A student of Mass Communications Department of the university, who does not want to be quoted for fear of attack by the criminals, said Moore Road is not only dark at night but that it is full of criminals “lurking in the darkness.”
“You can imagine that there is a popular school on that road and other public buildings such as the one belonging to the Nigeria Customs Service, yet it is full of criminals. The police officers can be sighted only in the areas where they can arrest and extort drivers accused of driving on one-way roads. They are never found combing the streets of criminals,” the student said.