A minor altercation has led to the death of a commercial bus driver, Bashiru Adebayo, who was allegedly beaten to death by a soldier identified as Private Ezinne Benjamin.
Benjamin, who is now being detained at the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Victoria Island, Lagos, was arrested after an angry mob stormed Dodan Barracks chanting war songs and threatening wanton destruction.
Eyewitnesses said disagreement broke out between the soldier and the deceased driver after Benjamin refused to pay his transport fare despite entreaties from the bus conductor and passengers.
Commercial bus drivers in Lagos usually convey military and paramilitary personnel in uniforms for free, but Benjamin was not wearing uniform, neither did he identify himself as a soldier, according to eyewitnesses.
He was however angered by the insistence of the driver that he had to pay up and in the heat of the ensuing altercation between them, he brought out his gun and hit the driver’s head with its butt.
The deceased, who was the driver of the commercial bus with registration No. LSG 451 XG, was said to have demanded for the soldier’s transport fare, after he had snubbed the conductor.
His persistent demand was said to have triggered off the soldier’s anger and the argument between them soon degenerated into a scuffle after the driver had parked his bus at Obalende in a bid to collect the fare before going any further.
The soldier hit the driver with the butt of his gun and fled after he slumped on the road.
Attempts to revive the driver proved abortive and he was later confirmed dead at the Lagos Island Hospital, where he was rushed to for treatment.
His death angered some youths in the area who pursued the fleeing soldier and caught up with him close to Dodan Barracks.
They were about lynching him when he was rescued and taken to the Lion Building Police Station before he was handed over to the military for an orderly room trial, which has already been set up.