• Danger still lurks for passers-by at Clifford Orji’s Apakun kitchen
By Abdulwaheed Usamah
BARELY a decade and half since the departure of the reported cannibal, Clifford Orji, from the vast expanse of land in the Isolo area, beneath the Apakun and Toyota Bus Stop flyover that connects Airport Road, heinous crimes still abound in the place.
Just at the same spot where notorious Orji, who reportedly died in prison, was caught with remains of human parts, leftovers from his previous meals, dangers have been continuously lurking passersby at dusk.
Since that celebrated incidence, several crimes are still being perpetuated under the flyover as passersby tell tales of woes especially from dusk, lamenting that even Lagos State Government’s effort to beautify the vast space with ornamental plants, flowers and lawns has not rid the place of bad encounters.
When The Guardian visited the spot based on several victims’ complaints recently, it learnt that just the previous night a lady in her early 30s trying to make her way to the other side of the bridge was raped by some unidentified men perpetuating crime in and around the place.
“I heard noise in the garden and I decided to trace the direction where the noise had been emanating from because I was high but normal to move about, and on getting there, I saw the lady frailly-looking on the ground, and realised she had just been raped”, one Mr. Emmanuel told The Guardian.
Meanwhile, it was not until in recent times that a different kind of danger began to lurk around the area.
Although this time, while nobody was reported kidnapped or another Clifford discovered, armed robbers and rapists have now turned the area into such a favourite hunting ground that it must now rank as one of the darkest spots in the Lagos metropolis.
Tales of the horror that Lagosians have experienced in the area abound.
A gardener, Kelvin John, who mans a garden under the bridge, told The Guardian that the rate of crimes at the spot is worst and that even his brother, who had come on a visit from Ghana, was robbed by some men in the area.
He said the robbery lasted for several hours, alleging that it was in full glare of police officers from a nearby station.
According to Kelvin: “My brother was beaten black and blue before the hoodlums made away with his money and other personal belongings and vanished into thin air. Once it is dark, the whole under-bridge becomes quite unsafe for anybody who walks around the area.”
A block manufacturer working under the flyover, Akinjide Alao, testified to how people lose personal effects to unidentified men there on a daily basis if they mistakenly pass through the spot at dusk.
He said robberies happen at night when most of the block-makers would had gone home, explaining that he and his workers normally get the bad news from security guards and a gardener who works on the other side of the road when they resume work in the morning.
“People have severally lodged complaints at the Airport Police Station, Ajao Estate and Oshodi,” he said.
A woman who pleaded anonymity also told The Guardian that those who commit crime in the place do not reside in the neighbourhood but come from other places to rob there.
Efforts by The Guardian to speak with the Divisional Police Officer at the Airport Police Station as well as the management of the garden under the bridge on the issue proved abortive.