22 January 2013

Nigeria: Three Feared Dead As Hoodlums, Police Clash in Lagos

Pandemonium erupted Monday at Ikotun, a suburb in Lagos State, following a violent clash between policemen and some suspected hoodlums which left about three persons dead and others with varying degree of injuries.

Although police said only one person died in the clash, THISDAY gathered that the figure could be more owing to the violent nature of the clash.

According to eyewitness account, the clash started at about 11.a.m., after a team of policemen attached to Area 'M' Command, Idimu, stormed a purported Indian hemp joint around Agbole area of Ikotun to effect the arrest of some suspected hoodlums.

However, their action met stiff resistance from the suspected hoodlums. This led to a heated argument between both parties which soon snowballed into violence.

It was gathered that while the argument was going on, one of the policemen allegedly fired a shot into the air but it killed one of the suspects on the spot.

Angered by the death of their colleague, the youths in the area were said to have regrouped and numbering over hundred stormed the streets at about 4.p.m. to protest the senseless death.

Armed with dangerous weapons ranging from cutlasses, axes, pickers and guns, the rampaging youths stormed Ikotun Police Division to register their grievance at the death of one of their own.

However, THISDAY gathered that some hoodlums reportedly tried to hijack the situation, as they attempted to burn down the station.

To prevent that, eyewitness account said, policemen fired some shots into the air to disperse the rampaging crowd.

It was also gathered that the stray bullets hit about two persons, while others sustained varying degrees of injuries as they scampered to safety.

While the clash lasted, the area was a shadow of itself as traders hurriedly locked up for the day, while motorists were forced to ply another route and those who dared had their windscreens smashed.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, said she was yet to be briefed by the Area 'M' Commander.

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