BY EVELYN USMAN
Pandemonium broke out, weekend, in the densely-populated Ajegunle area of Lagos State, after some members of Odua Peoples Congress, OPC, engaged policemen in Tolu Police Division in a gun duel over the release of a suspect.
A suspected member of OPC was shot dead in the process, a passer-by hit by a stray bullet, one policeman shot and several others sustained varying degrees of injuries in the incident which paralysed commer-cial activities in the area.
A police van was also burnt by the OPC members and part of the stationed torched. Their attempt to burn down the station, however, met with resistance from the policemen.
There were different accounts as to how trouble started.
How it started
A version said a teenage girl had a misunderstanding with her lover who was owing her N7,000. The 18-year old girl was said to have reported the matter to OPC members last Friday, who subsequently apprehended her boyfriend and allegedly tortured him in their hideout.
Another version had it that the man bought some goods worth N7,000 and refused to pay, threatening to beat up the teenager, who subsequently ran to the OPC for justice.
When news about the apprehension of the man reached policemen at Tolu Division, a team was reportedly drafted to the OPC’s hideout where the victim was rescued and brought to the station. The next day, OPC members reportedly stormed the station demanding for his immediate release.
An eyewitness, who gave his name as Famuyiwa Oladele, said: “Immediately the OPC people came, they started shaking the gate of the station, demanding that the man that was taken from their custody be returned.
“Before we knew what was happening, they started shooting and we all took to our heels.
“One Emeka, who was driving along the route, was hit by a stray bullet. They attempted to burn down the station when the police fired and killed one of them.
“Nobody could sleep in this area that day because the OPC members threatened to bring down the whole place. Many residents fled.”
When contacted, spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, Ngozi Braide, confirmed the incident, saying report of the illegal arrest was received at the command’s control room from where policemen at Tolu Division were contacted.
She said that the policeman that fired the shot that killed the OPC member had been detained, and that the matter was being investigated to ascertain whether it was right to have fired the shot.