Mob sets police van ablaze in Lagos over killing of Okada rider
It was gathered that some policemen attached to Ipakodo Division allegedly chased after the okada rider until he crashed into a gully for refusing to part with N100.
It was further gathered that the policemen retreated when the enormity of what had happened dawned on them.
Kamoru Shonubi, an okada operator in the area, alleged that the policemen left the deceased in the ditch in a pool of his blood when they could at least have rushed him to the hospital for treatment.
According to him, “when we heard the news, some of us rushed to the scene where we found the deceased lying helplessly. He was rejected at the first hospital where we took him.
It is the second hospital that referred us to Ikorodu General Hospital, but the man died before we got to the general hospital.”
Another rider, Mukaila Gbolahan, said the news of the rider’s death sparked off wild protest. He said the protest started on Tuesday night and took a dangerous dimension yesterday.
According to him, hoodlums, who took advantage of the incident to vent their anger on the police, hijacked the protest. He said it has been a regular occurrence for policemen from Ipakodo Division to daily extort money from the Okada riders at the junction once it is 9:00p.m.
Aggrieved by the sad occurrence, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of ‘B’ Department (Operations) of the Lagos command, Mohammed Ali, has directed the Divisional Police Officer, CSP Adigun Salami, to match the affected policemen to the command’s headquarter for necessary disciplinary action.
According to command’s spokesman, Chike Oti, “the Lagos State police command notes with regret the unfortunate burning of a police patrol van stationed at a blackspot in Ibeshe, Ipakodo area of Ikorodu, by irate motorcyclists on May 30, at about 10:45a.m.
“The incident was occasioned by an encounter between policemen manning the blackspot and an okada man plying the routes way beyond Lagos State approved time of 10:00p.m.
As he approached the police pin-down point, the police team observed that he was carrying a passenger with a big bag placed between him and the rider and so they flagged him down but instead of obeying the police hand signal, the okada man increased his speed in order to evade scrutiny.
Sadly, he ended up in a ditch and passed on. Meanwhile, his associate with the suspicious bag vanished into the thin air.
“However, okada riders sympathetic to their late colleague, mobilised in their hundreds and attempted to burn the Ibeshe Police Post. They were resisted.
So they moved and found a softer target, which was a police van stationed at a known blackspot in Ibeshe and set it ablaze.
“In view of this incident, the police authorities wish to warn all those with the penchant to burn, destroy or loot its property/armoury, that henceforth the command will be compelled to use all lawful means including the use of firearms to protect such properties and defend its personnel.
Any group of persons with complaints against police action must toe the civilised option of registering their complaints with the police authorities for appropriate action.
“The CP Lagos has directed that the 63 okada riders arrested for burning the police vehicle should be charge to court for arson.
He has also directed the OC Legal to file a motion to a court of competent jurisdiction to surcharge the suspects for the purchase of another police patrol vehicle.”
As at the time of this report, operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), policemen and soldiers were at the scene trying to restore normalcy.
Meanwhile, a teenage secondary school girl was yesterday crushed to death by a driver of one of the Oyo State-owned mass transit buses, popularly known as Ajumose in Ibadan, the state capital. The incident, which attracted scores of other students, led to a mob attack on the bus.
All the windscreen, side mirror, and parts of the bus were smashed by the angry mob who swooped on the driver of the bus. The driver, a middle-aged man, however, escaped death after sustaining severe injuries.
The sad event, which occurred around Mokola area of Ibadan, saw many people running towards the bus parked in front of Lafia Hospital. The unidentified driver was said to have also injured some other pupils in the accident that happened after schools closed for the day.
An eyewitness, Isaac Ajibade, said the bus was damaged by the mob, who seized the driver before he could escape from the scene. He said: “The traffic was light and there were many pupils who were going home. Suddenly, the bus appeared and hit the pupils, killing a secondary school girl immediately.
Passengers in the bus quickly alighted but the driver was grabbed by the angry mob. He was beaten before the police came to rescue him from the mob.”
The Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Adekunle Ajisebutu, who confirmed the accident, said the driver was recovering at Police Hospital in Eleyele, Ibadan.
He said: “The erring driver is in our custody. He has been taken to the Police Hospital, Eleyele for medical attention following attack on him by angry mob before the arrival of the police.
The body of the schoolgirl had been deposited at Alafia Hospital morgue for autopsy. Meanwhile, discreet investigation has commenced in earnest.”
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