A media consultant, Omokioja Eto, and his wife, Helen, have accused the guards securing the Ikota Shopping Complex of aiding armed robbery suspects who burgled and stole goods valued at N30m at their shop at the complex in the Ajah area of Lekki, Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that after business owners plying their trades in the complex closed business transactions, they locked their shops, and left their property in the care of the guards employed to secure the complex.
Things, however, took another turn when armed robbers, during an operation on March 7, 2023, broke into the couple’s shop and stole property, including mobile phones worth N30m.
Speaking with our correspondent, Eto, while lamenting over the development, said the armed robbers had unfettered access to the complex because the security guards on duty claimed they forgot to close the complex’s main gate.
Eto said, “The robbery was shocking because the security gate is inaccessible even to shop owners at night; our shop is just a stone’s throw from the gate and it would have taken at least two hours to cut through the shop’s security system.
“The guards told us that they forgot to close the gate and this makes us strongly see the guards as the main suspects. A representative of HFP Properties Limited that is managing the shop contracted the security affairs of the complex to a company, Finesse Security Limited that posted the guards to the complex. Both the facility management company and the security company did not immediately notify us of the robbery.
“It was one of our employees that informed us. Since the break-in on March 7 till date, the security company has not called to sympathise with us. Instead, the managing director has been evading our calls and text messages. We learnt he travelled abroad after the robbery.
“We reported the case at the Ajah police station and the guards were arrested. The case has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba, and we are doing everything to support the police investigation despite our predicament. We hope they will bring the culprits to justice.”
Also lamenting over the development, Helen, who had been conducting business on the complex for about two decades, said the shop that was looted was her family’s source of livelihood, adding that her family’s life savings and bank loans were used in purchasing the goods that were stolen.
She said, “We took bank loans for the business plus our life savings all of which are gone. This is a wicked plan against us in our old age with children still in school, other dependants and various bills.
“We plead that the police should help us to get to the bottom of the looting to save us from early deaths as our blood pressures have gone up sharply because this is our main source of livelihood. A list of the goods looted from the shop was attached to my statements at the Ajah Police Station and the SCID, Yaba.”
Contacted for a reaction on Sunday, the complex’s facility manager, one Mr Obaseki, simply said, “I cannot talk to you now. I am under medication.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, when contacted, confirmed the robbery incident in a text message sent to our correspondent.
“Yes. An investigation is ongoing at the SCID,” the text message read.