A 53-year-old man, Suleman Tajudeen, who was allegedly shot in the head by suspected armed robbers in the early hours of Monday, is currently lying critically ill at the Benin Central Hospital, Edo State, where doctors are battling to save his life.
The incident occurred at Ofosu village, along Benin-Ore Road, at about 4:30 am on Monday, when the armed gang who were said to have numbered about 10, allegedly barricaded a portion of the road to slow down vehicular movement, which allowed them to rob unsuspecting motorists and passengers without stress.
The victim who is said to be a contract driver attached to Complete Communications Limited, publisher of Complete Sports newspaper, allegedly attempted to flee from the robbers when he was shot in the head.
Tajudeen, a father of two and native of Abeokuta in Ogun State, told journalists in Benin at the male medical ward of the Central Hospital in Benin, that his assailants, who took him for dead when they saw him in the pool of his blood, dispossessed him of the sum of N48,000 and his mobile phone.
“I was driving towards Benin, between Ore and Ofosu, I saw their [robbers] wooden barricade. The driver with The Guardian newspaper, Mr. Kayode, was behind me.
“When I saw the barricade I had to stop. As I tried to reverse, they [the robbers] shot me and I fell. When I fell and the vehicle stopped, one of them said that I was dead.
“So, they dragged me out of the vehicle, searched me and stole about, N48,000 and my Nokia phone, before they left me. I encouraged myself, when they left, and managed to drive down to Benin while the blood was still flowing,” he said.
The Benin sales representative of Complete Communications Limited, Pastor Ayo Oiseomaoje, who confirmed the incident, decried the activities of armed robbers on the affect road.
He noted that robbery attacks on the road, which is a major route to the South-South, had become a regular occurrence.
“Armed robbery attacks happen there everyday. Last Saturday, about three routes were blocked. They (robbers) shot him (Tajudeen). He was the target. When we called the (police) control room, it called the Adeiyan police division to confirm whether it was true that the driver with us. When they (policemen) saw him, they went back,” Oiseomaoje added.
“Later, the hospital advised us to meet the police to get a report. We were told that it was within the jurisdiction of the police in Ore, since the incident happened there. But at the end of the day, he was given medical treatment. He is still in the hospital.”
The State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Moses Nkombe, could not be reached for comments as calls made to his mobile phone went unanswered.