By Evelyn Usman & Ifeanyi Okolie
Truck drivers of a construction giant, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Tuesday in Lagos, barricaded the Orile-Iganmu bridgeÂ in protest of the alleged murder of one of their own by a policeman.
The incident, which caused a stand still and impeded free flow of traffic, subjected motorists plying the route to a harrowing experience as they waited for hours without the desired result.
Eye witnesses said trouble started after a staff of the construction firm identified as Wahab Amusa was allegedly pushed down from the bridge by a police constable attached to Iponri Division, at about 6.30 a.m. The deceased, who had a tally number 3153284 on him, wasÂ said to had hit his head on the concrete ground, died before reaching the hospital.
How it happened, by witness
Until his unprepared end, Amusa was a senior driver in the firmâ€™s branch located along the Badagry expressway. He was said to had alighted from the companyâ€™s truck with number plate XX 376 ABJ, that was conveying him and other colleagues to work, with the intention of begging policemen at the checkpoint to pass vehicles from his end.
Eye witnesses said before he could finish his statement, one of the policemen pushed him, telling him to allow them do their job. The push, as gathered, resulted in Amusa losing his balance and in the process, fell from the bridge and landed on the concrete ground with his head.
The incident sparked off a violent protest as a mob, according to eye witnesses, attempted to hold the policeman that pushed Amusa. But this was resisted by his colleagues, who quickly whisked him into their patrol van and zoomed off.
Contacted, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Frank Mba, confirmed that there was trouble but could not give details because he was yet to be briefed by the Divisional Police Officer in-charge of the area.
Efforts by the Commander, Area â€˜Câ€™, Mr Bashrir Abdulahi to pacify the protesting drivers to pull their trucks off the link roads, coupled with explanation that he had met with the management staff of the company, fell on deaf ears.
It, however, took the intervention of the companyâ€™s Chief Security Officer, one Raji and other management staff to talk the truck drivers into removing their vehicles from all entrances, at noon.