IT was jubilation time at the Lagos State Police Command following the end of the reign of terror of a notorious armed robber Tokiwe Joseph aka TK who was gunned down by security operatives during a foiled robbery at the Republic of Benin border, Seme on Thursday night.
TK, a militant from Ondo State had been on the wanted list of the police for more than six years and was said to have led several bank robbery attacks in Lagos and Ogun in recent times. He is said to be one of the strongest commanders in control of the popular Fatola camp in Ikorodu where several security personnel including nine Department of State Security(DSS) operatives were killed and their corpses buried in the creeks.
He is also the one who is said to be responsible for most of vandalization of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines especially in Amuwo Odofin area of the state where his personal camp is located.
The state commissioner of police, Fatai Owoseni who could not hide his excitement told journalists that the command had received series of intelligence reports from the office of the Inspector-General of Police that there is a serious plot by TK and his gang to attack banks and bureau-de-change in Lagos and Republic of Benin border town, Seme.
The red alert led to the deployment of Special Anti Robbery Operatives from the command, Intelligence officers from the Intelligence Response Team, Abuja, operatives of the Border Patrol Unit of the Force and military men who had been patrolling the waterways
In his words: “The intelligence report indicated that the attack will be led by a notorious armed robber/kidnapper by the name Tokiwe Joseph popularly known as TK. TK can be likened to be as a Field Marshall who commands different gangs of armed gangs and had successfully in the past engaged in all forms of criminalities such as kidnapping, high profile bank robberies, vandalism, piracy and cultism. TK has his signature on almost all violent crimes in Lagos, Ondo, Delta, Ogun, Edo, and Benin Republic. Intelligence had revealed that TK at a time led a gang to hijack a vessel on the waterways of Ghana. Intelligence had also revealed that he has his Base in a creek situated somewhere in Ijagemo in Amuwo Odofin LGA of Lagos State.
“Recent intelligence reports indicated the certainty of when the dastardly act will be carried out. The veracity of the intelligence therefore necessitated that the security operatives of Nigeria and Benin Republic were in constant surveillance of our waterways, Banks, Financial Institutions as well as vulnerable and key points.”
As predicted, on March 16, 2016, TK emerged from his base and navigated the waterways in three boats towards Seme. “At about 11pm, the gang in a commando style came out of their boats with a view to advancing for the attack. They opened fire indiscriminately as they advanced. The Security Forces consisting of the Police, Customs and the Military who had been keeping vigil at the waterfront swiftly responded and repelled the attack. In the same vein, the security operatives of the Republic of Benin also joined forces with their Nigerian counterparts to present a unified and fortified front against the hoodlums.
The gang consequently surrendered to the superior firepower of the security forces, abandoned the boats and fled in different directions.
“The security forces of the two countries in pursuit of the fleeing criminals recovered three boats; one with inscription ‘Castina Marine’, 22 pieces of dynamites; four AK-47 rifles, two GPMG (General Purpose Machine Guns).
Also a total of three thousand six hundred and seventy eight(3,678), assorted live ammunition, twenty-eight (28) Magazines, eight (8) live jackets, 3 x 50 litres jerry can of fuel, 2 x 100 litres jerry can of fuel, assorted pieces of charms and military magazine jacket.
“Immediate manhunt was activated with a view to apprehending the fleeing hoodlums suspected to have suffered severe injuries. Search so far conducted revealed that the gang suffered eleven casualties.
“The Inspector-General of Police commends the efforts, sacrifices and steadfastness of all the security operatives involved in this operation and hopes that the synergy/camaraderie among the Security Agencies will be sustained. In the same vein, the Command appreciates the partnership of members of the public. Meanwhile, efforts are being intensified to arrest other fleeing members of the gang,” Owoseni stated.
BY CHRIS ORJI AND CHIOMA IGBOKWE
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