A police operative was killed when the bullet of a colleague who shot into the air to disperse a crowd during a protest in Igando Lagos State hit him.
The operative attached to the Igando Police Division was a mobile policeman who went to intervene during a free-for-all along LASU-Igando Road.
Eye-witnesses said the killer cop shot into the air to disperse the crowd, killing his colleague and injuring a motorcyclist in the process.
A police team from the division had reportedly mobilised to a section of the road around 4:00pm on Saturday to arrest motorcyclists plying prohibited routes and riding against traffic.
Trouble was said to have started when the team arrested a commercial motorcyclist (popularly known as okada rider) for allegedly breaking the traffic rule. The rider allegedly resisted arrest and struggled with the policemen, who wanted to seize his bike.
In the ensuing fracas, a crowd, who believed the policemen wanted to extort the rider gathered and started hurling objects at them.
An eyewitness, Kunle Gbadamosi, said the killer mobile policeman cocked his gun and shot into the air, resulting in his colleague’s death. “I was on a bus en route to Igando from Iyana-Iba when I chanced on the incident. It caused traffic and I decided to alight from the bus. I saw a policeman lying lifeless on the floor. There was confusion everywhere.
“I learnt that some policemen were trying to arrest motorcyclists riding against the traffic and on prohibited routes. One of the motorcyclists they were trying to arrest resisted and his co-riders rallied round him because they felt the policemen wanted to extort him.
“One mobile policeman, who was trying to assist the policemen to get out of the situation, cocked and fired into the air to disperse the crowd. He shot and killed a policeman in the process.” A police source, who is privy to the crisis, said the motorcyclist refused to let go of his bike knowing that he might not get it back.
The source said, “Usually, when such a motorcycle is seized, it will be taken to the task force office and the owner won’t be able to get it again. So, the motorcyclist fought to retain his bike and he got support from a crowd.
“While he was struggling with the policemen, the crowd started pelting them with objects. The mobile policeman fired a gunshot to chase them away but unfortunately, the bullet hit his colleague and another motorcyclist driving against traffic. The policeman died on the spot but the rider was rushed to a hospital. He was injured in the leg.”
A reinforcement team led by the Divisional Police Officer of Igando Police Station, CSP Taiwo Kasumu, had to come to the scene to restore normalcy to the area.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Bala Elkana, said the command had launched a manhunt for the motorcyclist, who fought with the police team.
“Our policemen on enforcement on the ban of okada on some prohibited routes in Lagos arrested two motorcyclists – an O’Pay rider and an okada rider, who is an OPC (Oodua Peoples Congress) member. He (the OPC member) was struggling with the team and mobilised people to attack them.
“While that was going on, the team and a mobile policeman with them were under serious threat. One of those people pushed the mobile policeman and he cocked his rifle. Unfortunately, he killed his colleague and injured a motorcyclist. We have commenced investigation into the matter,” Elkana said.