By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo
One person, identified as the deputy Baale (Chief) of Makoko, a Lagos suburb, Mr. Timothy Huntoyanwha, was allegedly shot dead, yesterday, by one of the security officials attached to the demolition team in the on-going clearing of shanties in Makoko waterfront, Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State.
The state government had, last Monday, commenced clearing of Iwaya/Makoko area with the aim of reclaiming the waterfront.
Speaking to Sunday Vanguard in a telephone chat, Mr. Ade Aguntor, who claimed to have witnessed the scene, identified the victim as Huntoyanwha, while the security officer who allegedly shot him was identified as a marine police officer, Corporal Boma Peddle.
Aguntor explained that the incident happened at about 10:30 am when the representatives of the community who were sent to Alausa secretariat to hold a meeting with the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Mr. Adesegun Oniru, were still briefing the elders on the outcome of the meeting held on Friday.
According to him, “at the meeting, the Baale of Makoko Community, Chief Aji Steven, was informed that the officials of the state government have arrived to continue with the demolition exercise in his territory. And immediately he heard this, he left the meeting to order his subjects to ensure that they removed all their property from the house before the demolition exercise commenced.
“Steven, who was accompanied by Huntoyanwha, sat down to watch how the demolition exercise will commence. As the demolition commenced, Steven further ordered those whose houses were being demolished to park their woods, that they will be useful.”
“While the Baale was still giving the order, Peddle stood up from where he was sitting and began to shoot sporadically. One of the bullets hit Huntoyanwha in his left side of his stomach.”
“Immediately he (Huntoyanwha) was hit by the shot, he alerted the Baale who quickly rushed him into the boat towards Oworonshoki jetty. While on their way to Gbagada General Hospital, Huntoyanwha died.”
Meanwhile, it was gathered that the officer in question has been detained by the police. A statement, yesterday, by Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, said investigation into the matter had commenced.