By Esther Onyegbula
An 18-year-old girl, Hadiyat Sikiru, has been allegedly killed by a stray bullet during a crossfire between suspected cultists/kidnappers and Police officers in Adamo community, Ikorodu area of Lagos.
It was learned that trouble started after a team of policemen on surveillance raided the community, following a tip-off that suspected cultists that specialised in kidnapping and killing people for ritual, were hibernating in the area.
On sighting the Police, the suspects allegedly opened fire and equally used some of their hostages as human shields, forcing the Police to retaliate. In the process Hadiyat Sikiru was allegedly hit by a stray bullet.
The death of Hadiyat Sikiru, a Senior Secondary School, SSS, 1 student sparked off protest, as youths in the area forced the Police to abandon their operational vehicle and took to their heels.
They succeeded in seizing a Police patrol vehicle and setting it ablaze.
According to an eyewitness, Joel Yusuf, “policemen from the Imota Police Division stormed the Adamo area yesterday (Monday) evening and raided suspected criminal hideouts.”
Yusuf claimed that as soon as some suspected hoodlums sighted the policemen, they opened fire and the police responded, noting that “unfortunately, a secondary school student was hit by a stray bullet. The death of the girl sparked off protest from an angry mob that went after the policemen.
“The policemen fired sporadically to scare the mob and escaped, abandoning their patrol vehicle. The mob then set the vehicle ablaze.”
Yusuf said the policemen should have known that the cultists were using innocent people as shield.
His words: “I watched how the girl, who was on her own, slumped and died after being hit by a bullet.”
Confirming the incident, DSP Bala Elkana, Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State, said the incident happened on Monday evening.
According to him, “following a tip-off, a team of policemen on surveillance at Adama community, Ikorodu, raided a den of cultists who specialise in ritual murder and kidnapping.
“On sighting the Police, they opened fire and equally used some of their hostages as human shields. During the operation that lasted for about one hour, two Police officers were injured and three suspects were arrested.
“The arrested suspects are Ahmed Hassan, Daniel Enyin and Olaniran Alium. One Hadiyat Sikiru was hit by a stray bullet.
“Attempt by other members of the deadly gang to attack our Police Station at Imota was repelled by gallant officers on duty.”
However, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Zubairu Muazu, has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Charge of Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, to take over the case.