Oluwaseun David, a 28-year-old resident of Babs Ladipo Street, New Oko-Oba, Lagos State, was the ideal child any family would desire – passionate, intelligent, hard-working and admirable.
Sadly, the graduate of Yaba College of Technology left behind those sterling qualities last Sunday when some armed robbers attacked his mother’s shop in front of their residence and shot him dead.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the three-man robbery gang on a motorcycle stormed the street around 9pm that evening during a downpour, which kept most people indoors.
It was gathered that David’s mother, who sells confectionery, was packing loaves of bread into the shop when two of the robbers came down from the bike and confronted her.
They were said to have dispossessed her of all she had made from her sales for the day.
During the incident, a relative of the woman who was around the shop reportedly rushed into the compound to alert the residents.
David, popularly known as Theogas, was said to have rushed out to know if her mother was safe when one of the assailants shot him in the neck and fled the scene.
He gave up the ghost while being taken to Agege-Orile General Hospital, Lagos.
The grief that trailed the tragic incident was still intense during our correspondent’s visit to the deceased’s family on Wednesday.
A banner with the inscription, “We celebrate your life, Oluwaseun Theophilus David (Theogas),” hung in front of the shop in memory of the late engineer.
David’s younger sister, Blessing, who spoke on behalf of her distraught parents, said the incident had dealt a devastating blow to the family.
She said David might have survived if he had been given prompt medical attention, noting that he was rejected in the first private hospital he was taken to because the doctor was not around.
She said, “Around 9pm last Sunday, some robbers attacked my mother in her shop and took away all she had made from her sales at gunpoint. She sells bread, recharge cards and drinks. It was raining heavily and she was packing bread into the shop when the robbers came.
“They were three in number and they came on a motorcycle. Two of them followed my mum into the shop. They checked different spots she kept her money within the shop and emptied everything. It was like they already knew where she kept her money.
“There was no resistance. One of my cousins with her at the shop ran into the compound, shouting ‘thief, thief!’ My brother (David) rushed downstairs. As he was about to go out of the gate, one of the robbers shot him in the neck.
“We took him to two private hospitals which rejected him. We were told in one of the hospitals that doctor was not around. We then took him to Ahmadiyya General Hospital which referred him to the Orile-Agege General hospital. He died on the way there.”
Blessing described Seun as a promising and intelligent youth, noting that his death was a huge loss to the family.
“He was a graduate of electrical engineering. People contracted him for electrical installations and he ran a gas station called Theogas,” she added.
David’s neighbour, Mrs. Omobolanle Oladeji, spoke in tears while sharing the fond memories she had with him, lamenting how she would sorely miss him.
She said, “He was a nice person. He was ready to go the extra mile to make people happy. I’ve lost count of the number of times he rendered help to me. When I wasn’t around, he would pick my children from school. And that was how he was generous to everybody. Maybe the robbers thought he knew them.”
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the street had become notorious for robberies lately, thereby creating panic in the minds of residents.
He said, “Recently, during the governorship primary, hoodlums with guns paraded the street in the afternoon. People had to run to safety. One woman was receiving a call; they pointed a gun at her and collected the phone.
“For three weeks now, there have been cases of phone snatching in this area. We are now living in fear both day and night. I can no longer walk on the street with my phones.”
A community leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons, said the street had become vulnerable to attacks, urging the police to come to their rescue.
He said, “Thugs have been terrorising people day and night, moving around with guns. We are not safe. The police should come to our rescue. We can’t bear this anymore.”
The troubled area is under the jurisdiction of the Oko-Oba Police Station.
A businessman, who lives on Sam Fakayode Close, New Oko-Oba, said his house had been attacked four times adding that the robbers succeeded in three of the operations.
The victim, who identified himself simply as Bidemi, said the bandits usually gained entry through an abandoned building on Akinsegun Street, which adjoins the close.
“The close has a gate manned by a guard, so the robbers don’t come in through the gate. The first time they came was last year. They removed all the light bulbs in the surroundings. It was when I woke up the following day that I discovered they had torn my window net. They stole my wife’s wristwatch and the jewellery she kept close to the window.
“In January 2018, they came to our compound again; tore my window net and stole my wife’s bag. They also removed all the shoes outside the compound and went away with my generator. While we were searching everywhere the following morning, we found the generator close to the abandoned building.
“A few months after, I was watching news on TV around 2am, when I heard the sound of footsteps at the back of the window. When I shouted thief, thief, the persons jumped back into the compound. We have been complaining to the owner of the building, but he did not do anything about it. I learnt he had sold the building to a Yahoo boy (Internet fraudster).”
Bidemi said on September 20, the robbers again raided houses, including his, and carted away property worth millions of naira.
He explained that the hoodlums went away with cash, 10 expensive phones belonging to him, his wife and their visitors, gold jewellery, two laptops, a play station (gaming gadget), among other valuables.
Another resident, Adeniyi, said some people had temporarily relocated following the incessant attacks, noting that there was a need for regular patrol of the area by the police.
Adeniyi, who called our correspondent on the telephone on Thursday, said a private hospital in the community was also attacked on Wednesday night.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, promised to get back to our correspondent with comments on the incident.