A policeman identified as Sergeant Collins Esiabor was yesterday killed and his unnamed colleague injured during an attack on a patrol vehicle by suspected hoodlums at Aruna area of Ogba in Lagos State. The incident occurred at about 11:00a.m. at College Road, Ifako-Ijaiye area of Lagos State.

It was gathered that the youths were returning from Area G Command, where they went to register their anger over the death of one of their peers. Their anger against the police, it was gathered followed the death of their friend said to have had a scuffle with some policemen.

The affected policemen were on patrol of the area, when the hoodlums were returning from Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) where they gone to carry the body of their colleague called Shina. Shina had died while escaping from being arrested by the police in a raid of their hideout where they are smoking Indian hemp last week Wednesday.  It was gathered that Shina, a father of two scaled a fence in order to escape, but unfortunately the fence collapsed on him and hit his chest. He was rushed to the hospital where he later died.

The hoodlums were said to have gone on rampage when they were returning from the mortuary at LASUTH. Their first port of call was the Area ‘G’ police command. The area commander was said to have warned his officers not to react to assault from the hoodlums.According to one Mukaila Adebayo, “the incident was an unfortunate one. Had it been the policemen left the scene when the hoodlums were abusing them such a thing wouldn’t have occurred. The hoodlums when they where going to mortuary to take the body of their colleague at about 8:00a.m. went with two loaded tricycles and two commercial buses decorated with leaves. 

“The angry hoodlums were armed with placards, they also caused gridlock on the road, chanting and singing solidarity songs that it was one Alhaji, a policeman at Area ‘G’ who killed their colleagues when he raided them at their base at Aso Rock. The hoodlums said each time the policemen raided their base, they always carry away their generator and other items if they were unable to arrest anybody. They said they were tired of the police raid.”

Another resident who simply gave his name as Bankole said the hoodlums were just wicked. “Immediately the hoodlums saw the policemen, one of them move close to them and slapped one of the policemen. Before we knew what was happening, they had collected the policeman’s gun and shot him in the open.

“When other policemen saw what had happened to their colleagues, they ran away. Unfortunately, the hoodlums hit another policeman in the head with a plank from behind who ran to Emmanuel Oluwafemi Street. He fell down instantly. Other hoodlums reportedly started pelting stones at him before he was later rescued and rushed to the hospital.”One of the aggrieved hoodlums, who gave his name simply as Sunday said they are not criminals but law-abiding citizens. “Policemen should stop disturbing us. We always give the policemen money whenever they come to our base.”

The attack on the policemen had forced every trader in the area to hurriedly lock up their shops for fear of arrest by the police.When contacted, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), CSP Chike Oti, confirmed the story. He added that a patrol van was also vandalized by the rampaging hoodlums, noting that five persons have been arrested over the killing of the policemen. “We have transferred the arrested suspects to SCID, Yaba and they would later be charged to court.

“Preliminary investigation into the incident revealed that the mob, mainly youths had earlier that morning gone to Area ‘G’ Command, Ogba with the intention to overrun the police formation and commit arson but found it impregnable.“However, the Area Commander in-charge, spoke to them, promising to cause an investigation into their grievances which bothered on the death of a youth who allegedly died today (Wednesday), two weeks after an alleged encounter with some policemen. It must be stated that the police authorities are unaware of any encounter with the deceased as no formal complaint was received to that effect.

“The Commissioner of Police noted that the penchant to take laws into own hands by some people who easily constitute themselves into a mob is becoming worrisome to say the least. He noted that policemen in the state had on several occasions shown restraints in the face of provocative actions. He warned that policemen might be forced to use their firearms to defend themselves.”