Gunmen suspected to be cult members have invaded Abule Nla Road in the Iponri area of Lagos State, shooting at youths in a restaurant. During the shootout, three persons were reportedly killed. The victims comprised a student of a polytechnic in Ogun State, Damilola Adegoke, and two of his friends, identified only as Kehinde and Junior, aka Hypo. It was learnt that another friend, who sustained gunshot injuries on both legs, was recuperating in a private hospital in the area.
Punch Metro was told that the attackers, who reportedly came in a car, stormed the restaurant – Iya Illa Mini Mart – on Abule Nla Road by Vaughan Street at about 8pm on Sunday and opened fire on the drinkers. It was learnt that 20-year-old Damilola died on the spot, while Kehinde and Junior, an auto mechanic, were rushed to a hospital where they were also confirmed dead.
It was gathered that policemen from the Iponri division came to the area to remove Damilola’s corpse and to examine the restaurant which had chairs smeared with blood. The policemen, assisted by members of the Vigilantes Group of Nigeria, reportedly arrested two of the gunmen on Ilaje and Otumara streets in the area.
When Punch correspondent got to the area on Tuesday, a crowd of sympathisers gathered at the restaurant and Damilola’s house. A member of the vigilance group, who identified himself only as Musibau, said the attack looked like a reprisal.
Musibau, who was an eyewitness, said, “There were five friends at the restaurant on that evening. The polytechnic student brought four of his friends to catch fun at the junction. Around 8pm, the gunmen came in a car and started shooting. The poly student and three other friends were hit.
“The policemen later came to remove Damilola’s corpse. But the families of the two other victims had earlier removed their corpses from the scene. I saw blood all over the place. One of the deceased was taken to his father’s place on Moore Street before the police arrived.
“The two other boys killed were said to belong to a gang called Kogbagidi boys. But Damilola, the poly student, was said to be easy-going. The attack looked like a cult reprisal. That restaurant is usually where the youths stay to drink and have fun. The vigilantes, together with the police, were able to arrest two suspects with guns in the Otumara area.”
Damilola’s father, Folorunsho Adegoke, said his son had come home from school to collect pocket money before he met untimely death.
He said, “Damilola came back on Friday. He came home to collect some pocket money. He was a student of the Moshood Abiola Polytehcnic, Ogun State. He and his friends were having fun at the restaurant when they shot him.
“The policemen were here on that evening. They said the attack was cult-related. I have put my comfort in God.”
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Kehinde and Junior died at the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute -Meta, on Monday.
She said, “We thought violence had stopped in our area; we did not know those gangs were only regrouping. The other families did not release the corpses of their boys to the police. The families were afraid that the burial would be delayed. Three persons died in the attack.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the attack. She said, “The police recorded one death. Preliminary investigation reveals that it is a cult reprisal. Investigation is ongoing, while effort is on to arrest the fleeing suspects.”