02.12.2021 Featured ALERT: Robbers Disguising as Traffic Hawkers in Lagos

Published 2nd Dec, 2021

By Tola Owoyele

Traffic robbers operating along the Lekki-Epe expressway have adopted new ways of robbing unsuspecting motorists in Lagos, FIJ can report.

The miscreants disguising as hawkers steal from commuters trapped in a traffic jam on the highway.

On November 20, Susan Ekanem, a Lagos resident, was driving along the highway when she experienced the new tactics of the thieves.


As Ekanem drove slowly around the Elf Bus Stop in Lekki, a teenager started knocking violently on her window. She was scared.

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“I had my car window wound up, but he continued to knock violently, screaming, ‘Give me your phone,'” Ekanem narrated. “Vehicles ahead of me were moving slowly, so, I quickly switched lanes and moved to the middle. But he still followed me. Then, I started pressing my car horn continuously to get the attention of other drivers around me.”

When a motorist ahead of Ekanem emerged to ask if all was well, the boy changed the narrative, shouting, “I don’t have change”. He flashed some naira notes in disguise and walked away.

Three days later, Ekanem had a similar experience while driving on a safe lane along the same highway. She saw four young men on a motorbike, bantering on the other side of the road.

“The traffic had come to a standstill, so I could see all that was going on. “They split and took positions on either side of the expressway. As one of them attempted approaching the driver of the car in front of me, the traffic light turned green and he sped off.”

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On November 22, Kolade Adefila, a building engineer, was returning from work when he witnessed a phone-snatching incident along the expressway while in a commercial bus.

Adefila had seen a boy holding some naira notes folded in one hand. He would later realise that the boy was just one of the traffic robbers disguising as hawkers.

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“As we were about leaving the Elf Bus Stop, approaching Ikate, a boy that looked like someone hawking inside traffic was seen moving around,” he told FIJ. “All of a sudden, the lady sitting close to the window on my right suddenly screamed, ‘Jesus! Jesus!’ The boy moving around like a hawker or a conductor had stealthily worked back to snatch her phone while she was on a phone call.”

Commuters who have witnessed the new robbery style told FIJ that traffic robbers operate unhindered on the expressway despite the presence of police officers.

Patrick Nnadi, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) at the Maroko Police Station, did not answer calls from FIJ. He also did not respond to text messages sent to him.

Published 2nd Dec, 2021

By Tola Owoyele


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