On Saturday, a mob attacked a team of policemen in Lagos leaving an Assistant Superintendent (ASP) and two others critically injured at Ijegun, a suburb of Lagos, after killing a pregnant woman.
The police officers, who are from the Area M Command trio, were part of a team chasing a suspected kidnapper at Agbole area of Ijegun.
They had fired at the suspect but a stray bullet hit the pregnant woman identified as Busayo Owoodun who was in her shop.
Sympathizers rushed her to a nearby hospital only for her to die soon afterwards.
Her death, it was gathered, sparked an outrage in the neighbourhood with residents beating the seized policemen.
An eyewitness, Damilare Olarenwaju, wondered: “How can policemen fire shots at a roundabout, on a Saturday close to a festive period at Ijegun?”
The Nation gathered that angry youths in the area had blocked the road to the palace.
Anti-riot policemen were subsequently drafted there to restore normalcy.
“The road in front of the king’s palace is impassable at the moment. Vehicular movement has been diverted into a nearby street to access Ijegun bus stop,” a resident said by phone.
“The information I gathered is that the policemen from Area M fired gunshots while chasing suspected criminal and the bullet killed a woman. Youths in the area killed him and injured his colleagues. One of them managed to crawl to the Oba’s palace,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lagos CP has commiserated with victim’s family, and ordered probe into attack.
Police Commissioner Zubairu Muazu last night sent a condolence message to the bereaved family of Busayo Owoodun .
He also ordered an investigation into the attack on his men.
Spokesman for the command, Bala Elkana, confirmed in a statement that an ASP and two Police Officers were injured in the attack which he attributed to ‘notorious cultists’.
He said: “On 10th August, 2019 at about 1455hours, a team of Policemen from the Anti kidnapping Unit attached to Area M Command Idimu tracked some kidnapping suspects to Ijegun – Isolo road, Ijegun bus stop but came under attack by members of the deadly gang.
“A stray bullet hit one Busayo Owoodun ‘f’.
“The gang with the support of some notorious cultists in the area, attacked the Police team and injured the team leader, ASP Victor Ugbegun and two others who are currently in critical condition at the intensive care unit.
“Reinforcements from Operations Department, Rapid Response Squads, Task Force, and neighboring Divisions were able to contain the situation and evacuate the injured Officers to Hospital.
“The Command has launched a manhunt of the assailants with a view of bringing them to justice. The corpses of the victim of the stray bullet were taken to hospital for autopsy. The “Commissioner of Police has ordered an in-depth investigation into the case. While condoling with the family of the deceased person, the command calls for calm and assured her family and friends that justice will prevail.”
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) on Friday also constituted a joint panel to investigate Tuesday’s killing of three police officers and a civilian by soldiers in Taraba State.
The seven-man panel is headed by Rear Admiral I.T. Olaiya and draws members from the Army, Navy, Air Force, the Police, Department of State Services (DSS) and the Defence Intelligence Agency, according to the Acting Director of Information Defence Headquarters, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu.
The committee is charged with the responsibility of unraveling the circumstances surrounding the Tuesday incident.
A separate panel set up by the police to investigate the killing visited the scene of the incident on Friday.
The officers were on investigative duties when they reportedly came under sudden attack and serious shooting by soldiers.
The police named the slain officers as Inspector Mark Edaile, Sergeant Usman Danzumi and Sergeany Dahiru Musa.
The officers, according to the Force Spokesperson, DCP Frank Mba, had gone to arrest one Alhaji Hamisu who was indicted in a series of high-profile kidnap incidents.
The army however disputed the police version of the story saying the bus conveying the policemen and Hamisu refused to stop at three check-points and that the policemen fired the first shots.
Army spokesman, Colonel Sagir Musa, said the soldiers only “acted on a distress call, suggesting that Hamisu was abducted by suspected kidnappers.
He said the police team refused to stop at three checkpoints which prompted a hot pursuit of the “fleeing suspects by the troops.”
He added: “It was in this process that the suspected kidnappers, who were obviously armed, opened fire at the troops sporadically, thus prompting them to return fire.”