The Lagos home of Vanguard’s publisher, Mr. Sam Amuka Pemu, popularly known as ‘Uncle Sam’, in Anthony Village, was yesterday invaded by gunmen, who carted away an undisclosed amount of money and other valuables.
Sunday’s incident was the second time the octogenarian would be attacked by bandits in his home. It was gathered that the robbers, numbering about five, stormed the building at around 1.30a.m.
They were said to have jumped through the high fence, cut the burglary proof on one of the windows and accessed the publisher’s room. Thereafter, they broke the ceiling leading to his bedroom.
Pemu was repeatedly ordered to “bring the money or get killed” and at the same time being hit with dangerous objects. The gunmen were speaking in a particuar language, while ransacking every item of furniture in the bedroom.
Private guards at the publisher’s compound said to have attempted to accost the invaders were subdued. According to one of them, “I was reclining on a chair at the entrance gate when I saw five young men moving from the wall close to the gate towards the house.
“I accosted them but they subdued us. They tied our hands and covered our faces while one of them kept watch over us at the gate; the rest went inside the house only to come out about 45 minutes later and ordered us to unlock the main gate. As soon as we obeyed them, they left the compound and we heard the screeching of tyres of a car zooming off.”
A member of staff of Vanguard newspaper, who usually brought the day’s newspapers to the publisher’s house, claimed he saw an ash coloured car speeding out of the street before he got to the main gate to drop the papers.
The publisher was later rushed to a private hospital where he was still receiving treatment at around 3.00p.m. yesterday.The Commander, Rapid Response Squad, RRS Mr. Tunde Disu, was the first security personnel that rushed to the scene with a team of policemen, after he was alerted. But their efforts at getting the robbers were hampered by the closure of all the gates leading to ‘Uncle Sam’s’ residence.
It took the effort of the Divisional Police Officer in-charge of Anthony division, Mr. Mr. Chima Agha, a Superintendent of Police, to clear the way, but by then, the bandits had left.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, later rushed to the scene with the Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of Operations, Mr. Edgar Imohimi. A visibly angry Owoseni assured that the fleeing bandits would be arrested.
It was gathered that the guards at the publisher’s compound and other gates in the area, including some of his domestic staff were being interrogated over the incident.
Meanwhile, heavily armed security men had been mounted at both the Amuka’s house and the private hospital.Police sources revealed that 10 persons had so far been arrested. The suspects had been transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja, following a directive from the IGP.