One shot dead in Lagos during police, okada riders fracas

One shot dead in Lagos during police, okada riders fracas
Charles Nwoke, Lagos, Nigeria
February 7, 2021 

A yet-to-be-identified person was reportedly shot dead while another was wounded on Saturday during a controversy that ensued between commercial motorcyclists popularly known as okada riders and police officers at the Itire axis of Lagos State, Nigeria.

It was gathered that some policemen from the Itire Division police station seized motorcycles from two riders believed to be of Hausa ethnicity around 8 am and took the bikes to their station.

The owners of the confiscated motorcycles were said to have reported the incident to their members who followed them to the police station on motorcycles to protest against the seizure which they believed was unlawful.

A resident of the area, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed to newsmen that police fired tear gas canisters to scatter and chase away the protesters, who in turn reportedly started throwing stones at the security agents.

The source said the police officers replied with gunshots during which one person was hit and died on the spot while another sustained bullet wound to his mouth.

“Policemen stopped two okada riders early this morning (Saturday) and seized their motorcycles. They went to call their members and some minutes later, a number of them stormed the police station on motorcycles in protest,” said the source.

“When police fired tear gas to disperse them, they started throwing stones and other objects at the police. The policemen began to shoot. Bullets hit someone in the mouth and killed another person who was not part of the protest. He sat somewhere when the bullet hit him and he died on the spot.”

Another source who wouldn’t like his name mentioned, stated that the inferno lasted for hours before peace was returned in the area.

“Police eventually chased them away. As I speak to you, armed policemen are around the area. A policeman was also injured,” he said.

‌In another development, a crisis broke up between rival criminal gangs in the Alakuko axis of the state in the early hours of Saturday, and two of the hoodlums were reportedly killed.

Kunle Alabi, a landlord in the community, who witnessed the clash, disclosed that it was between boys from Dalemo in Ogun State led by one Biodun aka Confidence and a gang in Alakuko called Ori Tiles Boys – infamous for attacking their targets with the sharp edge of broken tiles.

“They started the fight around midnight and it lingered till dawn. In the morning, the road was littered with broken bottles. Each side lost one person respectively.

“They had been fighting for a long time. Some Ori Tiles Boys had seen Confidence on a bike on Friday evening. They attacked the rider after he dropped him off. Confidence learned about it and mobilized his boys to Alakuko,” said Alabi.

As at the time of filing this report, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, the Lagos State Police Command Public Relations Officer was yet to comment on the issue at stake.