Punch Metro learnt that Thomas, whose work area was Oja Oba Market on Dosumu Street, was initially rushed to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba, to remove the hoodlums’ knife which was left in his head, before being taken to a private hospital for further treatment.
It was gathered that Thomas had supplied information, through a community leader in the area, to the police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja, that hoodlums kept weapons in a hideout in the market.
The SARS policemen were said to have stormed the market, and recovered the weapons, including cutlasses, knives and guns, but they were unable to arrest the hoodlums.
On Thursday, January 21, 2016, at about 9pm, Thomas, who was on a night duty, was clearing some refuse in the market when the hoodlums attacked him.Apart from Thomas, some other workers of the agency at the market were also attacked.
After stabbing him in the eye through the side of his head, the hoodlums abandoned the LAWMA worker by the roadside with the knife stuck in his eye.Residents, who alerted the police at the Adeniji Adele division, were said to have also rushed him to LUTH.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, a resident, Saheed Alatise, said he initially thought the hoodlums came to extort money from the LAWMA workers.
He said, “The hoodlums got information that some LAWMA workers gave the police information on the location of their weapons.Our correspondent gathered that a LAWMA driver, identified simply as Suraju, and one Azeez Taofeeq, were among those who sustained injuries.
“It was not only Seun (Thomas) that they attacked. They stabbed other LAWMA workers who were rushed to the Lagos Island General Hospital for treatment as well.“However, they focused on Thomas as they threw him to the ground and punched him. They brought out knives and stabbed him, leaving one of the knives in his eye.”
Another eyewitness, identified only as Alao, said,
“The hoodlums were about 10 men. They were led by Agoro, Matanmi and Marcus. Thomas had informed the police about their criminal activities in the market. That was why the hoodlums came after him.”A woman, who is a community leader, but spoke on condition of anonymity, said the attack on the LAWMA worker was successful partly because he put on his earphones on the night of the incident.
She said, “Thomas just finished secondary school and he is looking for money to start his university education.Thomas could not speak with PUNCH Metro due to his condition. Doctors at the hospital said he was still unconscious.
“His father is late, and the boy is just struggling. His offence was that he hinted us that hoodlums were hiding guns in the market
“After that police operation, they came after him. What made the attack successful was that he had earphones on and did not hear the commotion when the hoodlums stormed the market. The knife has been removed, but he is still in a coma.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, also confirmed the incident, adding that the police were waiting for the complainant to give a lead on the arrest of the hoodlums.
She said, “The matter was reported on that day and the police gave the victim a medical paper to go to the hospital and treat himself. However, he has not turned up since then to allow the police follow up the case.“The police have been calling him to provide a statement that will lead us to make an arrest, but we have not seen him. We assume he is no longer interested in pursuing the matter.”