Some trigger-happy police officers have shot a man dead in Kilo, Surulere area of Lagos.
The victim of the extra-judicial killing, identified as Ademola Moshood, was shot a few blocks away from his house in the wee hours of Thursday by an officer attached to Soloki Police Station, Surulere.
According to eyewitnesses, Moshood was shot at close range in the head for refusing to part with N200 as a bribe after he was beaten by the officers.
Three officers identified as AK, Patrick and an unknown officer, who were involved in the act, were on patrol when they sighted Moshood at Kilo bus stop, Surulere, stopped him and started demanding for money.
Residents of Surulere who spoke to SaharaReporters said police officers from Soloki Police Station take pride in carrying out the extra-judicial activities and extortion of commercial bus drivers and motorcyclists.
Narrating how the incident took place, a resident, who preferred not to be named, said: “The officers stopped him and were trying to collect money from the motorcyclist, but he did not give them because he said he had closed for the day and was only heading home. The officers insisted that he must give them money and they did not want to listen to anything he was saying. Next thing we knew, one of them went to his side, placed his gun to his head and shot him.”
Another eyewitness said the Police, noticing that he had died, immediately left the scene with his bike while abandoning the corpse.
“When they saw that he was dead, they took off with their patrol van. They carried his bike, left him on the floor in cold blood and ran away from the bus stop.”
Another eyewitness, who simply identified himself as Mr. Emmanuel, confirmed to SaharaReporters that one officer, popularly known as AK, led the team on patrol and also shot Moshood.
“AK led the team of policemen on extortion mission with two other officers, Patrick and an officer whose face we did not really see. AK pulled the trigger after the motorcyclist refused to drop something for them.
"The man was less than a minute from his house. He had already closed for the day and so he couldn't give them money, but they refused to let him go. The officers started beating him with a baton and later shot the man and took his bike away.”
He also said Police personnel around Surulere are in the habit of extorting money from road users.
“This is not the first or second time Police harass, brutalise, extort and even kill people here at this same junction,” he said.
Some residents, who witnessed the incident, stormed Soloki Police Station, Aguda Division, to report the crime. They said on getting to the station, they sighted the officers hiding behind a van.
They were, however, dispersed by officers on duty, who shot at them.
"When we saw what happened, we organised ourselves and went to the station. When we got there, the officers that killed Moshood were seen hiding the bike at the back of the station, pretending nothing happened. When we got there and were asking that they should produce the man that killed Moshood, other officers started shooting at us,” one of the residents said.
G.I. Eze, Area Commander, was compelled to come out and address the angry residents. He expressed distraught at the act of the officers and said they would be tried and prosecuted accordingly.
The residents are demanding that the officers are charged for murder. They want the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to immediately set up a team to investigate the matter and also orientate officers to stop the growing spate of killings by the Police.
“They killed this man because he refused to give them N200. I really want to hope the system will ensure justice this time around. So many people have been killed by the Police and nothing has been done about it. We want these men to be tried and charged to court to serve as lessons for others. We also want the head of Police in Lagos and Nigeria to educate all officers in order to stop killings across the country,” a resident of Surulere said.