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Friday, 21 March 2014

Armed Robbers Storm Church In Lagos; Steal Cash, Phones and Tried To Rapé The Ladies

No fewer than 15 armed robbers invaded the Christ Apostolic Church in Alagbado area of Lagos, stealing an estimated cash of N2million and about 40 mobile phones. The robbers, who operated for about 20 minutes inside the church, were said to have also attempted to rapé a few of the ladies in church service before they left the church premises.

It was gathered that the heavily armed men came around 2am last Friday while the over 450 congregation was engrossed in a prayer session.

"The vigil actually started around 12 midnight. Some of us observed a man who came in around 1:30am. He was seated in the women’s section. About four persons tried persuading him to change seat, including the pastor, but he refused. So they left him.
"I observed him going out several times to make phone calls. At about 2am, I overheard him saying, ‘start coming, they are praying’. Few minutes later, I heard a gunshot."Said a member of the church who craved anonymity. The head usher of the church was said to have been shot at close range, when he tried closing the door against the robbers, who he originally thought were arriving late for the programme. The bullet shattered the glass at the entrance, and landed on the pulpit.

When the gun men got in, the church members were said to have been ordered to lie face down, while they started ransacking them.

One of the church leaders said, “They positioned themselves at the church’s major entrances. They collected money, phones and recharge cards. They started shouting, ‘where is your pastor?’ They took the church offering and wanted to rape some of our women. In the 20 years of my being in the ministry, I have never seen such effrontery before.”

The Pastor of the church was said to have sneaked out through the exit and dodged behind a window, where he viewed everything going on.

It was learnt that the gang leader, who wore a mask, became angry and started arguing with a member of the gang over a phone that was snatched from one of the church members.

The source said, “It must have been God working at that point. During the argument, this young man suddenly pulled off his mask and started fighting the other robber. They had a heated argument over a phone they had just snatched without knowing that the pastor was looking at them.”
The informant who first arrived the church could not escapee. “Apart from me, there were three other people who saw him. A particular member of the church even told us that he was the one who grabbed her phone while the robbers were stealing items. He wanted to follow the robbers when they were escaping, but we held him till the police arrived.”

According to Punch, the gang leader, who led the church operation and angrily pulled off his mask, was the son of a traditional ruler. The guy, identified simply as Ade, had been arrested, but there had been high-powered influences seeking his release from police custody.

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