Gunmen attack PREMIUM TIMES’ editor-in-chief, Dapo Olorunyomi, snatch car

Dapo Olorunyomi was dispossessed of his car, computer, telephones and other personal effects

Four gunmen Tuesday in Abuja trained guns at the head of PREMIUM TIMES’ Editor in Chief, Dapo Olorunyomi, asking him to yield his car keys, his laptop computer, and his cell phones.

“It was like magic…Hollywood-style” said Mr. Olorunyomi, who, now re-learning the basics of common living through a new regime of austere phone use, and increased walking time, humorously said, “the early man obviously had a better life.”

After his official hours on Tuesday, Mr. Olorunyomi dropped off a few colleagues, and checked in on a friend for a late meeting before retiring for the day. As he walked out of the gate of his friend’s home near the High Court Office of Apo District; and made for his car keys from the pockets of his pants, from his right side, two middle aged men announced their presence in gangster-style swagger, pointing their pistol at him.

The environment was quiet, and desolate, but well lit, and Mr. Olorunyomi, tired and drained, said he merely intoned “what a mess.”

Barking rapid orders at him, he quietly surrendered the keys, and when they demanded he empty his pockets he offered them five call cards of PREMIUM TIMES from his pockets, a prize which appeared to annoy the gang leader.

“What is this? Nonsense!” he snapped.

“After losing the laptop and the car, my hope was not to volunteer the little money in my pocket to them again but I just had to be lucky,” Mr. Olorunyomi said.

When the gang leader walked closer, apparently seeking to conduct a more diligent check, Mr. Olorunyomi thought he had gotten to his wits end, telling himself “the game is, finally, up.”

“A man like you have no phones?” the incredulous robber demanded, one step closer to the now silently prayerful editor.

“But that is the key, have the car…” Mr. Olorunyomi, who left his phones in the car, muttered to the agile boss, dressed in black on whitish sneakers, hoping to engage the robber’s mind with the reality of his bigger haul.

On the other side of the car, a lieutenant to the lead-robber seized the car keys and glasses of the editor’s friend after a swift body frisk that yield no further reward.

“It was such a swift but terrifying experience,” said the editor, who recalled that when the ‘boss’ barked, “let’s get out of here,” the two men jumped into his Honda Accord, and, before tearing off, the gang leader eased his head out of the window a little, asking for a last favor of the editor, “please does the car have a tracker?”

The grey Volkswagen car that conveyed the gang for the Rambo raid followed in a flash, almost dropping the fourth robber who played the role of a patrolman deployed to ensure no passerby strayed to disturb the operation.

“Don’t leave me behind, please,” he cried, in hot pursuit of the car as he leapt in to the open rear door.

Dapo Olorunyomi has had many close shaves with men with guns on his head in the past, and of this experience, he said, “I stole a hat of Grace again—again.”


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