Rampaging soldiers shoot at motorist in FESTAC Town
It was another taste of brutality for an unlucky ‘bloody civilian’ yesterday when some soldiers in FESTAC Town, Lagos State, shot at and brutalised a motorist, Olajide Sipe, a barrister, for ‘daring’ to engage in an argument with a soldier over the right of way.
The soldiers, numbering about four, reportedly chased Sipe from 23 Road Mobile Petrol station, and shooting at his vehicle in the process. After succeeding in bringing him to a halt, they thereafter dragged the victim out of the car and beat him thoroughly with stones and sticks.
Sipe could have lost his life yesterday but for the timely intervention of a retired Commodore, who was driving by at the time of the incident, and who stopped to restrain the soldiers from inflicting more injuries on him.
After the Commodore’s intervention, who preferred to remain anonymous, the barrister was rushed by bystanders to Mercy Gate hospital along 72 Road, where he is presently receiving treatment.
Narrating his ordeal at the hospital, Sipe said: “I was coming from where I went to buy water barely 10 minutes after talking with my wife on the phone at 23 Road Mobil Petrol station. People buying fuel had blocked one lane and a soldier had stopped a bus on the other lane in the middle of the road.
“When I realized the soldier was blocking the road, I said to him, Oga this thing you are doing is causing holdup, why don’t you take the bus out of the road, so that we can move. He just said to me ‘who are you, what nonsense are you talking’, and I said, no Oga I’m not trying to teach you what to do, I’m only telling you that if you do this thing it will be better for us using the road.
“The next thing he said was, ‘you must be a useless man.’ When I saw that he was already getting enraged, I decided to move my car, but he started running after me. Another soldier, light in complexion, came in front of my car, I stopped, and he began kicking my front wheel and smashed my windscreen.
“Two other soldiers boarded a bike, making four of them on me. I decided to make a U-turn and speed off but they rammed their bike into my car. Not done with that, they shot at the car twice, the second bullet hit my tyre. When I heard the sound of the gun, I couldn’t believe I was being shot at.
“After my tyre went flat, I came down and they ran to me and beat me mercilessly. That was the last thing I knew before I saw myself in the hospital. I was told the commanding officer of the soldiers, Lieutenant Sadi, later came to the hospital to see the damage his men had caused, but offered no succor or remorse.”
Attempts to get Sadi’s comment was rebuffed as he declined speaking with anyone and waived off nurses and doctors attending to the brutalized man. Also, the soldiers had hurriedly left the scene immediately the man was rushed to the hospital.
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