What could have been a major tragedy was averted on yesterday, when a joint team of mobile policemen and other security agencies attached to the Lagos Business District (CBD), discovered a substances suspected to be an explosive device on Lagos Island.
Security operatives revealed that the bombs found in Lagos, had been programmed to explode around 1pm where passengers queue at the LAGBUS terminal in Lagos Island to board buses to their respective destinations.
The three explosives were immediately taken away by the police bomb squad from Ikeja police command.
Witnesses said the grenades planted in front of the Union Homes company gate along Nnamdi Azikiwe Road, Tom Jones area, opposite Access Bank branch and LSDPC house was discovered by one of the mobile police security man attached to the Homes.
They said the policeman who became suspicious about a man who earlier came with Jeep and started distributing N1, 000 notes to beggars and later asked them to vacate the area before he drove off.
The policeman, an eye witness said, went there to know what was happening only to discover the grenades and immediately alerted other policemen around and officials of CBD to evacuate traders and passers-by away from the spot.
The police on the Island were immediately alerted and occupants of different offices and shops within the area were evacuated by the police so as to prevent casualty, while the Police Anti-Bomb Units were also informed.
Another eye witness an official of the Lagos Central Business District wo identify himself Kareem Saidi, said a foreigner suspected to be a Sudanese earlier sited in the area before the unfolding scenario was arrested and handed over to the police.
Saidi told newsmen that “I asked him to go back, he refused and insisted to go to the spot of the device, I then arrested him and handed him over to the Policemen from Ebute-Ero station who took him away to their station”.
One of the officers of the anti-bomb squad that took away the device, told newsmen on condition of anonymity, that the bombs have been programmed to go off around 1pm, a situation that could have wreaked havoc and claim several lives in the area had it succeeded.
He added that if the bombs were not discovered and it went off, all the structures within 70 metres would have been adversely damaged while people will be killed.
The business activities in the area which was disturbed for about four hours, restored gradually after the bombs have been taken away, while police vehicles including anti-bomb truck were stationed at the area.
Efforts to confirm the development from some senior police officers who were at the scene proved abortive, while the cell phone number of the PPRO Lagos, Ngozi Braide did not go through, as at the time of filling this report.
NEMA dispels bomb scare in Lagos markets
It’s not true, says NEMA
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has described as a hoax, reports that explosves were recovered from Idumota and Tejusho Markets in Lagos.
There was pandemonium in the areas as residents and traders were said to have scampered for safety following alleged discovery of explosive devices in the markets.
It was learnt that three of the explosives, said to be bigger than fire works, were seen along the Nnmadi Azikiwe Street, close to the Central Mosque, Idumota, at about 8am. Traders, who did not open their shops till 10am as a result of the weekly market environmental, fled their shops.
It was further learnt that the area was cordoned off by men of the Anti-Bomb Squad of the Nigerian Police, who sources claimed removed the objects around 10:55am and left in a van marked LSR276BP.
At Tejusho Market, the residents who refused to enter their shops for fear of a likely explosion were reassured after rescue officers searched the area with bomb detectors and nothing was discovered.
Reacting to the development, NEMA’s spokesman, Ibrahim Farinloye urged residents to go about their lawful businesses insisting that the news was false.
“It is not true. We have gone to the areas and I have also contacted the anti-bomb squad to ascertain if any such thing was recovered. They said it is fake.
“So, people should not be scared and should also not hesitate to report any suspicious object to the authorities,” said Farinloye.
Police spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, could not be reached for comment as all calls to her phone were not answered.