Residents of Ayobo area of Lagos have raised the alarm of serial arrests by officers of the Nigeria Police Force after a video of a policeman said to have killed a bus driver went viral online.
On friday in Ayob, According to an eyewitness, a police officer shot a driver in Ayobo, Lagos because he refused to give the police money.
Narrating the incident Sodimu Johnson, one of the eyewitnesses, said: “The officers were trying to collect money from the driver, but he did not give them. One of them shot the driver and when they saw that he was dead, they tried to run away.
“The bus conductor and other passers-by chased them and were able to catch two of the officers. We held them and were trying to force them to carry the corpse to their station.”
Another eyewitness stated that one of the officers shot at people to clear the way so they could escape, but the people stood their ground.
“One of the officers shot sporadically into the air to disperse the crowd and clear way for themselves to escape from the scene of the incident, but we stood our ground and did not allow them to leave. We were able to disarm the two of the officers.”
Johnson said the police stormed the area with reinforcement and left with the officers involved in the act.
“Presently, some police officers have come to the area and have taken the body, conductor and the two officers away.
“They reinforced and came with some officials of the NSCDC to rescue the two officers. They harassed those who were recording the incident, seized their phones and also arrested them. They were taken to Area P Police station at Ayobo.”
The conductor attached to the bus held the officer down but was eventually taken away after the Police came with reinforcement and some personnel of the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps.
The Police had denied the incident claiming, “a team of anti-crime policemen on routine patrol, led by Inspector Oloruntoba Gbenga, was attacked by a gang of youths suspected to be members of an unlawful society, led by one Lekan Isiaka”.
An eyewitness, who confirmed the incident, said: “The Police are becoming unbearable because of the N100 they collect from bus drivers. They are always at the Estate junction, harassing motorcycle and bus drivers.
“I saw when the driver was shot and the conductor who challenged them after the Police shot the driver.
“When the police came back to Mosan with reinforcement with some LNSC officers, a passer-by who was recording the incident was arrested, just as some phones were also seized because they didn’t want the video to get to the public.”
Residents of Ayobo have raised the alarm that the Police, furious at the emergence of the video online, are indiscriminately arresting members of the community, especially youth.
“The matter has graduated to another level now. The Police are now raiding and arresting our youth. They are doing this because they don’t know how the video went viral. They raid our community every time, arrest youths and go through their phones,” a resident said.
The community members urged the Inspector-General of Police to immediately order officers in the area to stop harassing residents and motorists.
“We want the Inspector General of Police to call their officers in Ayobo area to order and command them to stop harassing our boys. They should also stop collecting bribes from motorists, because this has led to the death of drivers who have refused to give them bribe,” a community resident appealed.