“I gathered that last Wednesday, the policemen went to raid Idiagbon and many fled to evade arrest. In the melee, the victim fell into a gutter and hit his head on the concrete slab. He was rushed to a hospital and put on oxygen. He, however, died this morning (Wednesday).”
Tension enveloped Emmanuel Olorunfemi and Oshunkeye streets in the Ifako-Ijaiye, Ogba area of Lagos State on Wednesday after a police sergeant was killed by some youths suspected to be cult members.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the irate youths were protesting against the death of one Shina, aka Ishan, who was reportedly injured during a police raid on Oshunkeye Street in Idiagbon community.
The hoodlums were alleged to have taken the corpse to the Area G Police Command headquarters, Ogba.
The men were reported to have chartered a bus to Haruna bus stop on College Road, where they attacked a police team stationed at the junction.
Our correspondent learnt that one of the policemen was chased to Emmanuel Olorunfemi Street, where he was clubbed and shot dead.
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the incident happened around 11am.
He said, “I gathered that last Wednesday, the policemen went to raid Idiagbon and many fled to evade arrest. In the melee, the victim fell into a gutter and hit his head on the concrete slab. He was rushed to a hospital and put on oxygen. He, however, died this morning (Wednesday).
“His friends and some residents took his corpse to the Area G Police Command in an ambulance. They left the body there and took a bus back to the community. They sighted some policemen at Haruna bus stop and attacked them with cutlasses and sticks. They vandalised their patrol van as the cops ran for dear life. However, the youths got one of them on Emmanuel Olorunfemi Street and beat him to death.”
Emmanuel Olorunfemi Street and its environs were deserted when our correspondent visited on Wednesday, as some motorcycle riders discussed the incident.
One of them said colleagues of the deceased policeman did nothing to save him.
He said, “There were four of them at the junction. Those boys broke their van’s windscreen and chased them. They met one of them eating and stabbed him. I learnt that the policeman was taken to a hospital.
“Two of the policemen, who were in flight, asked me to take them to their station. Those boys caught up with the last policeman and used sticks to hit him on the head. They were not with any gun. They used the policeman’s gun to shoot him dead and later dropped it on his corpse.”
The atmosphere in Idiagbon community was charged when Punch Metro visited the area, as many shops and houses were locked.
The Balogun of Idiagbon, James Shomuyiwa, confirmed that policemen raided the street, adding that during the operation, a youth was injured.
He said after the victim died on Wednesday, his friends vowed to avenge him.
He said, “There are some Aiye and Eye cult members in this community and there has been a supremacy fight between them for some time. They have constituted themselves into a nuisance and they even have a base called Aso Rock. That place has been turned into a den. We cannot sleep with our two eyes closed. Anytime they clash, we lose our peace.
“Recently, an Alfa, who claimed to be a landlord, came to my place to complain that his son was attacked by some Eye cult members because the boy refused to join them.
“However, when the Eye cult members heard that they came to my place, they besieged my house in large numbers and said the boy was a member of the Aiye cult. The two parties later converged on my house and I confronted the Alfa and his son with the claim of the Eye cult.
“At that meeting, I told the two groups to stop their illegal activities in my domain and I threatened to bring in the police if they did not heed the warning. I was later told that most of the cult members were not indigenes of Idiagbon; they came from another community called Obawole.
“For about two weeks now, the police had been conducting raids on the area.
“This morning (Wednesday), they came to my house, saying one of them had just died and they would retaliate. They said they were going to take the corpse to Area G and that the police should eat the corpse.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, confirmed the incident.
He identified the deceased as Sergeant Esiabor Collins.
He said, “Today, Wednesday, August 29, 2018, around 11am, on College Road, Ifako Ijaiye, Ogba, Lagos, a police patrol team stationed at a black spot was attacked.
“In the process, Sergeant Esiabor Collins, with service number 260326, was attacked and killed. Also, the patrol vehicle was vandalised.
“Preliminary investigation into the incident revealed that the mob, mainly youths, had earlier that morning gone to Area G Command, Ogba.
“The Area Commander spoke to them, promising to investigate their grievances, which bordered on the death of a youth who allegedly died today (Wednesday), two weeks after an alleged encounter with some policemen.
“At this juncture, it must be clearly stated that the police authorities in the state are unaware of any encounter with the deceased as no formal complaint was received to that effect.”
Oti said the state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, was saddened by the incident, adding that the command would bring the culprits to book.
He said five suspects, who were arrested, had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, to face prosecution for murder.
“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Edgal Imohimi, warns that policemen may be forced to use their firearms to defend themselves to avoid being killed by a mob in the protection of government assets,” he added.