Mob burn po­lice van in La­gos over Okada rider’s death

Daily Trust - - CRIME - From Eu­gene Agha La­gos

A mob yes­ter­day set ablaze a po­lice pa­trol van in Iko­rodu area of La­gos while protest­ing the killing of a com­mer­cial mo­tor­cy­cle oper­a­tor in the area.

It was learnt that some po­lice­men at­tached to Ik­pakodo Di­vi­sion, La­gos Com­mand al­legedly chased a com­mer­cial mo­tor­cy­cle rider un­til he crashed into a gully for re­fus­ing to part with N100.

It was also learnt that the po­lice­men re­treated when the enor­mity of what had hap­pened dawned on them.

Kamoru Shonubi, an oper­a­tor in the area al­leged that the po­lice­men left the Okada rider in the ditch in a pool of blood.

He said, “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 to. It is the sec­ond hos­pi­tal that re­ferred us to the Iko­rodu Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal. But the man died be­fore we got to gen­eral hos­pi­tal.”

An­other rider, Mukaila Gbo­la­ham, said the news of the rider’s death sparked off in­stant protest. He said the protest started on Tues­day night and that it took a dan­ger­ous di­men­sion on Wed­nes­day.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the protest was hi­jacked by hood­lums as they took ad­van­tage to vent their anger on the po­lice. He added that it has been a usual prac­tice of po­lice­men from di­vi­sion to ex­tort the Okada riders on daily ba­sis at the junc­tion once it was 9.00pm.

The po­lice spokesman, SP Chike Oti, con­firmed the in­ci­dent in a tele­phone chat, but did not give de­tails.

In a press state­ment later re­leased by Oti, he said the com­mis­sioner of po­lice had di­rected that the 63 Okada riders ar­rested for burn­ing the po­lice ve­hi­cle should be charged 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 van.

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