The Managing Director of Lekki Worldwide Investment Company, Mr. Tajudeen Disu, who was in charge of the Lekki Free Trade Zone, was monday morning killed in Lagos during a community uprising.
Disu was the father of Jameel Disu who is married to Bella, the second daughter of business mogul and Chairman of Globacom, Mr. Mike Adenuga.
The Chief Security Officer (CSO) of Dangote Refinery, who was identified as Colonel Usman (rtd), was also severely injured in the fracas.
THISDAY gathered that the fracas began in the morning when members of the Okunraye community in the Lekki area of the state sighted some members of staff of the said refinery at the site.
According to an eyewitness, the members of the community stormed the site and asked them to vacate the vicinity, alleging that the said land was snatched from them.
During the confrontation, the deceased tried to calm frayed nerves when some hoodlums allegedly hijacked the otherwise peaceful protest and unleashed mayhem in the process.
According to another report, the deceased had called in the police to restore peace, but the policemen allegedly shot at the crowd and killed two people.
After regrouping, the community again angrily stormed the area and it was in the process that some persons killed Disu and severely injured the refinery’s CSO.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Joseph Offor, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said the command had initially arrested 20 suspects in connection with the murder.
He said: “Immediately the incident happened, the police were able to restore peace and they also arrested 20 persons in connection with the incident including the Baale (chief) of the community.”
THISDAY however gathered that although 20 suspects were initially arrested, 10 of them were later released after they had been profiled and found innocent of the said allegations.
However, Offor said the police still have the Baale and the chairman of the O’odua Peoples Congress (OPC) and other high profile community members in their custody.
Also, the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said the police have swung into action and investigations have commenced into ascertaining what really happened.
He said: “We have so far arrested 10 suspects and the arrests we have made are of those who were directly responsible. We are in the state of the operation.
“We would do a diligent investigation and we would ensure that those people behind the fracas and death – not just the people we see on the road are perpetrators – and there may be sponsors, are brought to book.
“We will go after these sponsors and I can assure you that we will ensure the investigation is carried out as speedily as possible and we will make sure they are diligently prosecuted.”
Reacting to the incident, the Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, monday ordered the police to fish out the perpetrators behind the murder of Disu.
While expressing shock and sadness over his death, Ambode said the late Disu was shot by assailants during an official visit to one of the villages within the zone in the early hours of yesterday.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, the governor said: “We are deeply touched over the loss of our dedicated officer at the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Alhaji Tajudeen Disu, who was until his death the arrow head of the free trade zone Initiative.
“It really saddens my heart and the heart of all of us because this was somebody that had been dedicated to his duty in the past 10 years. He was a man who was committed to promoting the inflow of investment to Lagos State.
“This is a great concern and I have directed the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to investigate the cause of the death. The Commissioner of Police must do a thorough investigation to unravel the root cause of what has just happened because he was on a peaceful mission to that place.”
He urged residents of the area to remain calm, as his administration would continue to ensure that the security of lives and property is accorded necessary priority and that the zone is safe for investors.
He said: “I want to appeal to all our people in Ibeju Lekki axis that they should give peace a chance; it is in the interest of all Lagosians that we attract as many investors to the state.
“That is what we have been doing and have improved upon in the last four months. I implore everybody to be calm. We would get to the root of this unfortunate incident.
“I will like everybody to also know that we are trying our best but we can only appeal to our people to allow peace to reign in the free trade zone.
“That is the only way we can allow more people to be involved in this trade zone. Let me tell our people that we are on the right track for the kind of job creation we want to bring to Lagos State.”