BY EVELYN USMAN
LAGOS — Pandemonium broke out, yesterday, on Daleko bridge, in Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State, after a foreigner was allegedly shot dead by a yet to be identified policeman in uniform.
There were, however, different accounts as to how the deceased, identified as Santos Korie, was killed.
A version said the foreigner was driving in a Toyota Highlander vehicle at about 7a.m, when he was allegedly intercepted by some policemen, who were in a commercial bus, on the bridge.
An argument reportedly ensued as the policemen were said to have demanded Santo’s documents, with a view to ascertaining whether he was an illegal alien.
Then all of a sudden, there was a gun shot from one of the policemen, which killed the foreigner.
Another account had it that the men in police uniform could have trailed the foreigner to the bridge, as they reportedly opened fire on him at close range on getting to the bridge.
The gun shot was said to have jeopardize motorists and traders’ movement, as they reportedly fled in different directions for safety.
A truck pusher who simply identified himself as Eugene, told Vanguard that men in police uniform usually patrolled the area, extorting money from gullible motorists.
Eugene who claimed to be returning from where he had offloaded some bags of rice around Isolo, said the policemen zoomed off immediately they fired the shot.
He disclosed that one of them attempted to take something from the foreigner’svehicle but was ordered otherwise by his colleagues.
Eugene said: “Even after they left, the man inside the car was still breathing. If he had been rushed to the hospital at that time, perhaps, he would have survived. Nobody could even go near him anyway, until some policemen came and took him and the car away.
“This is not the first time policemen are seen operating in commercial buses in Lagos. Most times, they come to raid. At other times, they stop vehicles and even okadas. Nobody knows what happened that led to the killing of the man.”
While most eye witnesses claimed the killers were policemen on illegal duty, the Lagos State Police Command, in a swift reaction, debunked the claim, saying the killers could be gunmen who usually operated in police uniform.
The command in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, noted: “In recent times, gunmen operating in military and police uniforms have been involved in one violent crime or the other and the Lagos State Command is not leaving any stone unturned in dealing decisively with any fake uniformed officer.”
It was not immediately ascertained whether the gunmen were hired killers in police uniform or real Police Officers.
Meantime, some arrests have been made and the suspects are currently being detained at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) for interrogation.
“Following this ugly incident, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Mr. Umar Manko has ordered that the gunmen must be fished out with a view to knowing their identities, particularly as they were alleged to have operated in Police uniforms.”
“The Commissioner of Police hereby appeals to members of the public and especially the victim family to remain calm and embrace peace as the perpetrators of this dastardly act must be brought to book”, Braide said.
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