DPO arrested for killing one person, injuring four others

THE PUNCH Newspaper

As protests against the removal of fuel subsidy raged in various parts of Lagos on Monday, a man, Abiodun Ademola, was shot dead while four others sustained gunshot injuries on Yaya Abatan Street in Ogba after the Divisional Police Officer of Pen Cinema Police Station, Mr. Segun Fabunmi, allegedly shot into a crowd of youths.

Eyewitnesses said the DPO allegedly shot into the crowd of youths who gathered to play football and read newspapers on Yaya Abata Street after he asked them to disperse but was ignored.

One of the eyewitnesses, Ibrahim Sodeke, said, “We were not part of the crowd protesting against the increase in fuel price. Most of us gathered to read newspapers at a vendor’s stand on Yaya Abatan Street, while some people were playing football.

“A police van then came to where we were and the DPO asked us to disperse. Since we did not do anything wrong, we stood our ground because we all thought it was a joke.

“He then asked the men with him to shoot us. We all asked him why he gave such order. When he realised that his men would not shoot, he collected a rifle from one of them and fired some shots into the air and immediately shot directly at us.”

Another eyewitnesses, who wanted to be identified simply as Ebun, said, “We were all protesting here. Apparently the DPO did not like some of our boys playing football on the road. He made a move to stop them.

“Ademola told the man to leave them alone since they were not disturbing the protest. One thing led to another and before we realise it, the DPO shot Ademola. Immediately, other policemen started shooting in order to prevent us from attacking the DPO. Many of us were injured and the DPO escaped.”

Our correspondents learnt that Ademola was hit directly in the crotch by the bullet while the other injured youths sustained injuries in various parts of their bodies.

The bullet cut off a finger on the right hand of one of the injured, Christian Amadi, while the others: Alimi Abubakar, Egbijo Samuel and Joy Monday sustained gunshot injuries to their thighs.

Another eyewitness, who identified himself simply as Oluwajoba, said around 9am, he was playing football with other youths on Yaya Abatan when the policemen came.

He said, “We were not causing any trouble or taking part in the protest. We were just having fun on the street since we had nowhere to go and we were not taking part in the protest.

“After the DPO shot into the crowd, he pursued us through Abeokuta Street and later went back. By the time we turned back after the police van had gone, Ademola was already dead.”

When one of our correspondents visited the scene of the shooting, some bloodstains were seen on the road.

Our correspondents learnt that after Ademola was shot, he attempted to flee the scene but got tired because he had lost much blood. He died in a corner of Abeokuta Street where he sat down to rest.

The enraged youths promptly took his body on a cart to Area G Police Command, Ogba, to protest against his murder. But a horde of policemen formed a barricade at the entrance to ensure that the youths did not gain entrance.

The youth demanded that the police must issue reports to enable them to take the other injured youths to hospital for treatment.

When the report was later issued, the injured were taken to Ifako Ijaye General Hospital, but the medical staff rejected them despite the police report. “We are also on strike,” an unidentified nurse simply said.

The injured victims were later taken to County Hospital, Ogba, where they were treated.

While he was receiving stitches, Samuel told one of our correspondents that he was simply crossing the road when he was hit by a bullet.

“I did not even know I had been hit. I simply heard the shot and realised I felt a sharp pain in my thigh. The only thing I was concerned about was to run. But I realised that my thigh was bloody. Nobody was protesting when we heard the shot,” he said.

When one of our correspondents, who followed the youths as they took the body of the victim from Area G Command to the Pen Cinema Police Station, attempted to ask for the DPO, the policemen at the entrance warned any outsider to stay away.

But a policeman attached to the station said the account was not true. The policeman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the protest turned violent and the late protester tried to disarm the DPO. “He defended himself,” he said.

The spokesperson of the state police command, Mr. Samuel Jinadu, confirmed the shooting.

He said, “When the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Yakubu Alkali, heard of the incident, he ordered that the DPO should be arrested. Right now, he has been arrested and handed over to the State Criminal Investigative Department for discreet investigation.

“When the investigation is concluded, the report will be made known to the public.”

Meanwhile, one of our correspondents visited No 6, Aderinton Street, Ogba residence of Ademola, where his neighbours stood around discussing his death in disbelief.

One of his neighbours, Bimbo Ijasan, who said they had been neighbours for six years, revealed that the slain man was a tailor, who operated commercial motorcyle on part-time basis to make ends meet.

He said, “I am still in shock. You can ask anybody here, Ademola was very nice to everybody. This morning, he rode his motorcycle out to see if he could make some money, but he came back shortly after and parked it since there was no vehicular movement.

“He told me he wanted to go and read newspapers at the junction. I cannot believe he is dead now. I’m really shocked.”


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