The death of Taofeeq Abdulquadri has taken a new dimension as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and residents of the community have presented contrary accounts of what led to the shooting that resulted in Taofeeq's death.
The Public Relations Officer of NSCDC, Lagos State Command, has said that Taofeeq was shot while trying to disarm the officer; however, residents claim it is a lie, as Taofeeq was a victim of extrajudicial killing.
Residents of Pipeline/Ile Epo area of Lagos State and eyewitnesses had claimed that Osho Kehinde, an NSCDC official, shot Taofeeq, a LAGBUS driver, twice after an argument ensued between them.
A friend of the late Taofeeq who witnessed the incident told SaharaReporters that they were coming from a nearby canteen when they saw Osho and his team.
He also added that he escaped being shot by taking to his heels after Taofeeq was shot in his head twice.
He said: “We went to eat in the evening, but we left there to buy recharge card. On getting to the NSCDC area, he passed through the military zone of the civil defence people and one of them questioned him on why he would pass the military zone. This led to an argument between them.
“The officer was not with a rifle, but he went into the office and brought out a gun and shot Taofeek. He also pointed the gun at me, but I ran away to escape being shot.”
However, giving another version of the story, Miss Kehinde Bada, Public Relations Officer of the corps, maintained that Taofeeq was a pipeline vandal and was shot in a process of attacking and disarming one of its officers guarding a pipeline in the community.
In a response to an inquiry made by SaharaReporters on the matter, Bada said Taofeeq and a group of youth suspected to be pipeline vandals attacked the NSCDC post to steal firearms.
“It was actually a case of an attempt to disarm the officer, Osho Kehinde who was at his duty post at Oke Odo area of Abule Egba. The officers, who have successfully in recent times, foiled the activities of vandals in the area have also brought to the barest, minimal cases of vandalism.
“As a result of this, a group of youth, five in number, suspected to be vandals attacked the NSCDC post on Sunday at about 2100hrs to steal the firearms.”
She stated that the attack on NSCDC officials led to “a scuffle between the officer on duty and pulled the trigger while trying to disarm the officer and unfortunately lost his life.”
She also maintained that investigation has commenced into the incident, adding that the officer is in the custody of the Police as it is a case of homicide.
The corps further debunked the claim by residents of the community that the NSCDC officers deployed to protect the pipelines engage in oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism, as well as abet and protect some vandals who have parted with cash gifts to get security cover.
“The corps is known for its integrity and uprightness in carrying out its duties. Protection of national infrastructure is one of the core mandates of the corps. As such, the men of the corps would not engage in such practices. This allegation is aimed at tarnishing the image of the corps and to undermine the efforts put in fighting and combating oil pipeline vandals. It is false and unfathomable," Bada said.
When contacted, SP Chike Oti failed to respond to calls and messages sent to him on how far the Police had gone regarding the incident.