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Policeman allegedly kills man with teargas

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The vehicles burnt by hoodlums at Apapa

There was palpable fear on Wednesday evening as a policeman tear-gassed a young man to death at the Fagba area of Iju, Lagos State. The policeman is attached to the Armoured Personal Carrier (APC) in front of an eatery near Fagba traffic light.

It was gathered that the deceased whose identity was not yet known was having quarrel with a scavenger over a generating set. The scavenger had bought a used generator from the deceased who a man gave his name simply as Brother Sunny.

It was gathered that the scavenger who did not want to pay Sunny, ran to the police APC to report to the officers that he had discovered a man who allegedly stole a generating set. The policemen allegedly arrested Sunny who insisted he was the owner of the generating set.

An eyewitness, Mr. Steven Madu, said: “The deceased while being interrogated maintained that he was the owner of the generator and that he had receipt to prove his innocence, but one of the policemen who was overzealous just brought out a teargas can and sprayed it on the deceased face. Even while the deceased was begging that he was asthmatic, the policeman emptied the teargas canister on the man .We all took to our heels because of the danger of the teargas. It was when the smoke settled that we came back to meet the lifeless body of Sunny.

“We were told by a woman believed to be the deceased’s wife that the victim was asthmatic. The question is why did the policeman use tear gas on the man. Why the torture even when the man kept shouting that he was innocent and that he was asthmatic?

“We want the police high command to investigate the matter and bring the policeman and his colleagues who watched him torture Sunday to death, to book. We are aware that the policemen posted to the APC have turned the spot to a police station where they extort members of the public and beat up those who fail to pay toll to them. They are not fighting crime, but are there for extortion,” he said.

Meanwhile, there was pandemonium yesterday at the Lilypond Truck Transit Park as hoodlums attacked the facility, burnt two patrol vehicles belonging to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and killed an unidentified truck driver. Offices within the Lilypond facility were also attacked.

According to an eyewitness, trouble started two days ago when the Lagos task force on Environmental Sanitation stormed Lilypond/Ijora under bridge to rid the area of shanties and street traders, which was resisted by some area boys who in turn pelted members of the task force with stones. The policemen attached to the task Force responded by shooting tear gas at the hoodlums.

“The task force returned yesterday with reinforcement which led to a clash. A truck driver who was running for his life fell down and was stabbed to death by the hoodlums,” the source said.

Condemning the attack, General Manager, Security of NPA, Olumide Omotoso, said the facility has been shut down temporarily pending when the situation will be brought under control, adding that business can only thrive in a secured and safe environment.

“The police has waded in and we do not want to jeopardize investigation, we are on top of the game and we have restored normalcy. The closure of the facility will be temporary and it is only the police that can say when it will be opened.”


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