By Evelyn Usman
A police officer attached to the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Squad, IRT, was attacked Tuesday, by some armed youths who hijacked the lockdown directive to unleash mayhem on Lagos residents at Baruwa area of Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.
But the officer said to have put up an act of bravery, ended up arresting seven suspected members of the gang, with the assistance of policemen from Area ‘P’ Command, Alagbado/Abesan and some of his colleagues, who were mobilized.
Vanguard gathered that the police officer was on his way home when he drove into the miscreants.
An eye witness, who gave her name as Mrs Yetunde Olugbemiga, said: “The hoodlums ordered him to stop but he refused. They started hitting his vehicle with sticks and rods, to force him to stop but he kept moving and was making calls at the same time. He drove for a while and stopped.
“In no time, some policemen stormed the area. The hoodlums did not know that the first set was policemen because they were in a private vehicle. By the time they realised who their guests were, it was too late, as some of them were arrested while others escaped. It was after they were arrested that we realized that the man earlier attacked and injured, was a policeman.”
Police sources confirmed that the suspects were whisked to the IRT office in Ikeja.
Meanwhile, youths in most of the communities in Lagos were still keeping vigil, to repel hoodlums and cultists who have hijacked the lockdown.
Vanguard, however, gathered that a new dimension of harassment of Lagosians has been introduced to the bonfire method, as miscreants forcefully collect money from motorists, who are forced to slow down on reaching the spots.
It was gathered that any motorist, who attempts to put up resistance, ends up having his windscreen smashed.
Such shoddy activities were observed at Abule-Egba, Ijaye and Idimu areas of the state.
Also, in Jakande Estate in Oke-Afa, a vehicle loaded with foodstuffs, somersaulted in the driver’s bid to escape an attack from some hoodlum.
A female trader, who sustained a severe injury, was rushed to an undisclosed hospital, while others sustained minor injuries.
When Vanguard arrived at the scene at Vulcanizer bus-stop, Falowo, inward Bucknor, the food items, which included tubers of yams, tomatoes and vegetables, littered the road.
Narrating his ordeal, the driver of the vehicle, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “As I was driving at about 5 am, some armed boys came out from nowhere, flashed torchlight to flag me down. In my bid to avoid running into them, I swerved the steering and the rest was history”.
Reacting Lagos Police Command said it has put in place other security measures to prevent such attacks, especially during the distribution of palliatives to Lagosians by private organisations.
The command said that policemen will monitor such distributions.