Some members of Odua Peoples Congress, OPC, weekend engaged policemen in Tolu Police Division, Ajegunle Area of Lagos, in a gun duel over the release of a suspect.
A suspected member of OPC was shot dead in the process. A passer-by was hit by a stray bullet and one policeman was also shot while several others sustained varying degrees of injuries.
A police van was also burnt by the OPC members and part of the station torched as their attempt to burn down the whole station met with resistance from the policemen.
Trouble was said to have started when a teenage girl had a misunderstanding with her lover who was owing her N7,000. When the 18-year old girl reported the matter to OPC members last Friday, they apprehended her boyfriend and allegedly tortured him in their hideout.
Another account had it that the man bought some goods worth N7,000 and refused to pay, threatening to beat up the teenager, who subsequently ran to the OPC for justice.
When news about the apprehension of the man reached policemen at Tolu Division, a team was reportedly drafted to the OPC’s hideout where the victim was rescued and brought to the station. The next day, OPC members reportedly stormed the station demanding for his immediate release.
An eyewitness told Vanguard that “Immediately the OPC people came, they started shaking the gate of the station, demanding that the man that was taken from their custody be returned.
“Before we knew what was happening, they started shooting and we all took to our heels.
“One Emeka, who was driving along the route, was hit by a stray bullet. They attempted to burn down the station when the police fired and killed one of them.
“Nobody could sleep in this area that day because the OPC members threatened to bring down the whole place. Many residents fled.”
Spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, Ngozi Braide, confirmed the incident, saying report of the illegal arrest was received at the command’s control room from where policemen at Tolu Division were contacted.
She said that the policeman that fired the shot that killed the OPC member had been detained, and that the matter was being investigated to ascertain whether it was right to have fired the shot.