By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor
No fewer than 20 police stations and outposts were burnt by hoodlums, who hijacked the #EndSARS protesters in different parts of Lagos State.
Also, about five police officers and men were killed during the period.
Police sources told Vanguard that police authorities were still collating the number of casualties they recorded and that of stations burnt including arrests made and stolen items recovered.
It was gathered that the figures are high and alarming, prompting stern directives from Force headquarters, Abuja for a total review and implementation of new policing order and style of operation in order to avoid such colossal loss in future.
Vanguard learned that the apprehension in police circles was worsened by the number of escaped detained suspects in various cells in the stations that were completely razed and the number of weapons carted away.
The situation, according to sources, is bad, going by the public display and mockery of police uniforms and weapons by street urchins in some remote areas of Lagos state.
Unconfirmed sources named some of the burnt police stations to include: Orile, Igando, Okoko, Ijora-Badia, Agbara, Merian, Cement, Amukoko, Layeni, Ilasamaja,Cele outpost under Ijesha division, Ikotun, Ajah, Elemoro, Ebute-Ero, Onipanu, Pen Cinema, Makinde , Isokoko, Alade, Igbo-Elerin, Shibiri, Gbagada, Onilekere, Surule, Ojodu, Surulere, Makoko, Idimu, Denton, Ilemba-Hausa, Olosan, Denton, Aiyelegun police out post under Ejigbo division.
It was gathered that in most of the stations, many of the detained suspects including hardened criminals were released while arms and ammunition were carted away.
In Orile, sources said three policemen including a civilian were killed while a female Divisional officer narrowly escaped death after she succeeded in cleverly hiding in a dust bin while she was been pursued by the irate crowd.
In some of the burnt stations, it was learned that all the policemen fled to safety abandoning the station after making frantic efforts to ward off the advancing irate large crowd.
Some of them were killed during the attempt to escape. Sources said the stations that escaped attack were battle ready to confront the advancing crowd with the assistance of youths in their areas of jurisdiction that came to help.
Meanwhile, police sources hinted that officers and men of Lagos state police command had gotten matching orders from the Force headquarters to discreetly go all out in search of not just the perpetrators of the atrocities in police station but, recovery of all the missing items, including weapons and uniforms. It was learned that already detectives have swung into action and are making remarkable progress in that regard.
However, when contacted, Lagos state police spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi said: “We lost four policemen, one ASP and three other ranks. We have no escaped suspects because we had evacuated all of them to our cell at the SCIID, Panti, Yaba while many are on bail.