BY EVELYN USMAN & BOSE ADELAJA
Lagos — Commercial activities were paralyzed for the better part of Wednesday in Ikorodu area of Lagos, as commercial motorcyclists took to the streets in continued protest of the death of one of them, Tuesday, by a policeman attached to the Rapid Response Squad, RRS.
However, the policeman whose bullet allegedly snuffed life out the motorcyclist identified as Olalekan Ajayi has been arrested alongside other members of his team.
The protest which was reportedly hijacked by hoodlums turned violent as some motorists plying the routes reportedly had their windscreens shattered while a lorry loaded with fruits was allegedly hijacked by the protesters.
A corpse identified as that of one Femi, a mechanic, was reportedly discovered at Ikorodu roundabout. He was said to have been hit by stray bullets, with the actual circumstance yet to be ascertained.
While eye witnesses alleged that Femi felled from stray bullets from the police, another version had it that he was hit by stray bullet from some members of a cult group.
The protesters, as gathered, attempted to burn down the Shagamu/Ikorodu road police division but were dispersed with teargas canisters fired by policemen from divisions under Area N command.
The traditional ruler of Ikorodu town was sighted with the Area commander, Amos Macus, appealing to the protesters for calm.
It was, however, gathered that a policeman attacked, Tuesday, by some motorcyclists was still on danger list at an undisclosed hospital. The policeman with an unknown identity was among the RRS men who accosted a commercial motorcyclist for violating traffic laws. Appeal by the erring motorcyclist with unknown identity to the policemen reportedly fell on deaf ears as his motorbike was confisticated.
At that point, his colleagues were said to have clustered round the police team and in the process, allegedly attacked them in a bid to free their colleague’s motorbike.
Late Olalekan was FUTA student
The late Olalekan, a father of five, as gathered, was the only son of his parents. He was also said to be a student of of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State and was using his motorbike for commercial purpose to assist himself financially in school.
An eye witness who identified himself as Mayowa Joseph,said: “Lekan was shot three times by the policeman. Immediately he fell down, they took off and abandoned him. Okada operators ran and accosted them at Agric,where they descended on one of the policemen. He would have been lynched but for the intervention of a patrol team. Olalekan was, thereafter, rushed to the General Hospital, Ikorodu where he was confirmed dead.”
Why we protest — MOALS chairman
Chairman, Motorcyclists Association of Lagos State, MOALS, Ikorodu zone, Mr Kayode Jimoh, who spoke with newsmen, yesterday, could not hide his consternation over the death of the MOALS member.
He said the protest was aimed at condemning the act of indiscriminate shooting by policemen, adding that they were not going to look the other way while policemen keep killing people unjustly.
Jimoh, popularly called ‘Jendor’ said the deceased was killed while going about his personal business.He said: “He was not on duty yesterday
but was killed at Ladega junction, on his way from Ejina. I received a distress call
around 3.30pm and I rushed to the scene. On getting there, I saw his corpse lying on Ladega Street and I decided to call appropriate authorities to intimate them of the development.’’
Disclaiming the report that the deceased had been arrested on several occasions, he said: “The Policeman is fond of indiscriminate shooting especially at Ladega and many of our members have complained about him. Yesterday’s (Tuesday) scene was not strange to us because we will be culpable one day.”
Hecalled on police authorities to advise their men against molesting motorcycle riders who ply the inner routes.
Why the killer shot was fired—PPRO
Spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Ngozi Braide, who described the death of the motorcyclist as unfortunate, explained that the shot was fired in an apparent bid to avoid being lynched by the mob. Unfortunately, the bullet reportedly hit Olalekan Ajayi who was said to have only arrived the scene to plead on his colleague’s behalf.
As at 3pm, Braide said the situation had been brought under control, disclosing that one person alleged to have led the hoodlums had been arrested. The arrested person identified simply as Azeez, according to her, led the mob that attempted to burn down the police station. Azzez, as gathered, tied charms round his head, wrist and neck at the time he was arrested.
Calling on commercial motorcyclists to abide by the restriction order, Braide recalled that a man, his wife and baby were crushed recently around same area, pointing out that such tragedy could have been prevented had they adhered to the rules.