A disagreement over the sharing of some stolen items has led to the killing of a suspected hoodlum, identified only as Small Messi, by his gang members.
Small Messi, who was said to be in his 20s, was hacked to death by other members of the gang known as Akamaye boys in the Ijora Badia area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the hoodlums had robbed a woman of jewellery, money and phones in a hotel in the early hours of Friday and escaped to their hideout in the neighbourhood.
Trouble reportedly started when Small Messi, who was said to be with the loot, declined to release the items.
A resident, who gave his name simply as Deji, told our correspondent that the gang members descended on Small Messi with machetes and hacked him in the head, adding that they fled the scene before policemen from the Ijora Badia Division arrived.
He said, “Akamaye boys are notorious in Ijora. Those boys are dreadful. They rob people, molest ladies and perpetrate all sort of immoral things. I learnt that they had gone to rob a woman, who lodged in a hotel around here, and stole her jewellery, money and phones.
“They were many. An argument ensued over the sharing of the loot and Small Messi, who was with the items, refused to release them. That was how the argument degenerated into an attack. I heard the boy (Small Messi) groaning with pain, but I was afraid to come out of my room.”
Another resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, urged the police to rid the area of hoodlums, saying they were threats to the security of the community.
“I was going to my place of work on Friday when I saw Small Messi’s corpse on the ground. I do not know what led to his killing, but people said there was a disagreement between him and his gang members. There were machete cuts in his head.
“Thugs have turned this place to a war zone and residents are no longer living in peace. I usually return from my workplace in Apapa around 10pm. When I am almost at Ijora, my heartbeats increase because of these boys.
“If I have the means, I would have packed out of this area. We are appealing to the police to come to our aid. The rate at which these guys cause trouble is alarming.”
A landlord, who did not want his name in print, called for regular police patrol in the area to stop cases of robbery and street fighting.
“The boy that was killed was about 20-year-old. One would expect somebody of that age to be in school or be engaging in a productive job instead of robbery,” he added.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said investigation had commenced into the incident.
She said, “The case is under investigation. The circumstances surrounding his death are not yet ascertained. The command will unravel it.”