By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor
One of the survivors of last Monday killing of a Divisional Police Officer (DPO), the Divisional Crime Officer (DCO) and other policemen at Badagry, Lagos by irate soldiers from Ibereko Military Cantonment, has opened up on how they were attacked.
Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, Afolabi Taofeek, the Crime Officer at Badagry Police Station who was in the same vehicle with the slain officers told Vanguard at the intensive care unit of a hospital (name withheld for security reasons) where doctors are battling to save his life that the people that shot him were in military camouflage and that they came out from the main gate of the Ibereko Military Cantonment.
Monitoring of events
Afolabi (44) who disclosed that both himself and the DCO were in mufti while the DPO was in full Police uniform, said: “It was around 11.30am on Monday. We were going round to monitor events in our jurisdiction. We had earlier met with the Commanding officer of the Cantonment after we witnessed how some soldiers matcheted a police Inspector at Badagry roundabout.
“So, we were going round to ensure that there was peace. I was in mufti together with the DCO while the DPO was fully in uniform. When we got close to the gate of Ibereko Military Cantonment, we saw a group of armed soldiers fully on military camouflage. They quickly came towards our car and before we knew what was happening, they started releasing volleys of bullets into our car. I also noticed that a senior officer from the cantonment was also among the soldiers at the gate.
The first person that was hit by their bullet was the DCO. The last word the DCO uttered was “they have shot me.” Then the DPO rushed out of the vehicle and started running. The soldiers went after him and caught up with him. They immediately descended on him with machetes. They later shot him at pointblank. Then, I rushed out from the vehicle.
“As soon as I alighted, one of the soldiers accosted and shot me and the bullet pierced through my lungs. I then dived into the bush and crawled far away from them. While I was inside the bush, I noticed that I was bleeding profusely and I reasoned that I might die inside the forest. Then, I decided to crawl out where my corpse would be seen.
As soon as I crawled into the open space facing the military gate, I saw the Commanding Officer and the Adjutant. They offered to take me to the military hospital with an OP Messa vehicle. I objected telling them to take me to a private hospital. I was afraid soldiers will kill me inside any military hospital. Then they left me bleeding there.
I managed to limp towards a nearby filling station where some people recognized me. They then offered to take me to the hospital”.
The 44-year-old father of four lamented the fate that befell him and his colleagues. In fact, while he was straining to speak with our reporter, he was anxiously asking after the whereabouts of his DPO and his DCO. He kept on asking whether they survived the attack or not.
Officials of the hospital including doctors who were on hand to attend to him advised earlier that we should not tell him that his colleagues were dead. However, the badly injured police officer who doctors said his survival still remains a miracle as the bullets pierced his ribs from the back, meandered very close to his heart and ended up around the chest area, kept on thanking God for his survival while also asking why the soldiers went that far.
“I don’t know why they started shooting at us. They were all on military camouflage and their Commander and Adjutant were there with them when they started the shooting and even after that. I pray God will save my life”, he stated