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Three killed in Lagos task force, riders’ clash

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Three persons were feared dead yesterday when operatives of the Lagos State Task Force and motorcyclists clashed on Isolo Road, in Mushin area of the state. Operatives of the task force were said to have gone to the motorcyclists’ park on Isolo Road about 10a.m. to impound motorcycles, but they were resisted by the riders which led to a clash. It was learnt that the motorcycle riders chased the policemen to Ojuwoye Junction. But when they got to the junction where traders were, the policemen started shooting at the riders. Witnesses said stray bullets hit two persons while the policemen’s van crushed a trader to death at Ojuwoye Market.

A trader, who identified herself simply as Iyabo, said there was commotion in the market, when the policemen started shooting indiscriminately. She said: “We were in the market, when suddenly we saw the task force officials in their vehicles with some motorcycle riders coming towards Ojuwoye junction. Before we knew what was happening traders had started shutting down their shops. “Before we knew what was happening, a hairdresser apprentice and a motorcycle rider had been hit by stray bullets from the policemen.

A woman, who was selling on the roadside, was crushed by the policemen’s truck.” Another resident, who did not want his name in prints, gave the names of the victims as Modinat, Abimbola Kolapo and Kazeem. He said: “It was unfortunate that they were killed in such circumstance.

The late Modinat was returning from school where she took her master’s daughter when the stray bullets hit her and Kazeem. The stray bullet hit the motorcycle rider in the chest, while Abimobola was also crushed to death by the truck of the task force when they were trying to escape from the motorcyclists, who were chasing them.

“What annoyed me most was that when we tried to rescue the trapped woman under their truck, the task force officials threatened to shoot anybody who dared to go close to the woman who was calling for help. Unfortunately before she was rushed to the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, she had died.

Her death ignited a protest.” Modinat’s distraught sister, Mrs. Aduke Adekola, said, it was bitter pill for the family to swallow. Adekola said the deceased left home in the morning with a promise to return. She said: “I learnt she was not part of those who were fighting the motorcycle riders; she was returning from where her master sent her when the stray bullet from the policemen hit her. I was told the policemen also prevented people from going close to her, in an attempt to rescue her. “But they were the ones who later evacuated her remains to the mortuary at LUTH. We don’t know how to inform her mother of her death. “I also learnt that her boss, Kudirat, fainted and was rushed to the hospital immediately she heard that Modinat had died. Her family members are still battling to bring her back to life; this is too much for us to bear.”

The Chairman of the Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners, Repairers and Riders association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN), who simply gave his name as Abo, said the excesses of the task force officials were unbearable. He said: “When they came this morning (yesterday), they approached me for money, which we normally give them. But one of them said the money we gave them was not enough and that we should add to it. “We persuaded them to accept it but they threatened to impound our motorcycles.

I said if they impound our motorcycles, how were we going to give them the money they normally collect from us? Before I knew what was happening, they had started impounding our motorbikes and we also resisted them.” Abo added that out of annoyance, some of the motorcycle owners mobilised themselves and started shouting at the policemen. He said: “To my surprise, the policemen started shooting sporadically. In the process, two persons were hit by stray bullets and one another woman was crushed to death when they were trying to escape from the angry mob.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Chike Oti, could not be reached on his mobile line at press time. Confirming the incident, the head of Public Affairs, Lagos State Task Force. Mr. Adebayo Taofeek, said they went on a normal routine of enforcing the state traffic law. He said: “We were able to impound 25 motorcycles and took them to our office.

While at the office we received a distress call that some of the riders had mobilised and went on the rampage. We went back to the area with the support of policemen from Area D Command to maintain law and order. “Unfortunately, when we got to the scene, they had injured two officials of KAI and we were trying to rescue them when they attacked our vehicles. But I am not aware if anybody was killed in the process.”

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Metro and Crime

Naval personnel beat up man over carton of beer

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A middle-aged man, Inah Arome and six of his friends were over the week, beaten to pulp by some unknown naval personnel for allegedly refusing to buy a carton of beer for them. Narrating his ordeal to our correspondent, Arome aged 36, who identified himself as a young entrepreneur said he was sitting in company with his friends in the front of his house in Okpachala Ogbagba near Idah Local Government Area of Kogi State at 10 am when a naval patrol van led by one Lt Commander Megida suddenly pulled to a halt.

He said a member of the patrol team numbering about six then ordered them to stand up and salute their leader who he said was just transferred to the area.

After saluting the officer, he said the officer pointed to a nearby restaurant and ordered them to buy a carton of Gulder so as to entertain their ‘oga’ but he pleaded with them that they had no money as they came from Lokoja for a wedding ceremony.

This, he said infuriated the officer who said he was rude and landed him a slap while the five others in the vehicle jumped down and started beaten them up continuously. He said in the course of beating them, they nearly stripped them naked publicly as they dragged them on the ground and took them to their office where they locked them for seven hours with intense torturing.

According to Arome, who claimed he fainted three times in the torture room, he sustained arm dislocation and had to be rushed to a private clinic for treatment. “Upon all these torture, they vehemently refused to release us until they collected N4,000 from us which they claim was the amount a carton of Gulder is sold.”

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Metro and Crime

Vandals destroy NDPHC’s transmission lines in Enugu

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) announced yesterday that the 132KV double circuit transmission lines at Eziama, Enugu State, being constructed by Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), were destroyed by vandals on February 20. A statement in Abuja by TCN’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs Ndidi Mba, said assessment by TCN engineers revealed that the vandals carted away two spans of conductors, insulators and other accessories.

She said the equipment were removed from the towers and transmission lines through which the company planned to feed the new 9th Mile 2×60 MVA 132/33kV substation and the Nsukka 1x30MVA sub stations.

She said the vandalised double circuit lines would slow down the pace of work on the transmission line and eventually impede prompt energising of the two ongoing transmission substations in the state.

Mba said vandals had also destroyed four towers at the Alulu Nike transmission line. She said vandalism was threatening TCN’s expansion effort in the state, as efforts, time and funds would have to be provided to replace the vandalised lines

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Metro and Crime

Police arrest another gang member of Zenith Bank robbery

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The Imo State Police Command has arrested a member of the four-man robbery gang that attacked a customer at Zenith Bank in Owerri, killing two policemen.

The suspect, Chinomso Onwuegbuchulam, popularly known as Ogolo, was arrested at his hideout at Close 7 Mgbuakara, Eleparanwan in Rivers.

The Commissioner of Police in Imo, Mr Chris Ezike, who paraded the suspect on Friday in Owerri, described Onwuegbuchulam as the last man standing in the robbery gang.

He said that Onwuegbuchulam had a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the Imo State University.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the four-man robbery gang attacked a customer at Zenith Bank, Owerri in February last year, killing two on-duty police officers.

The police had, however, arrested two out of the four gang members, days after the incident, recovering three AK47 riffles and 175 rounds of ammunition, while one member of the gang was killed during the robbery.

Ezike said that operatives of the command had been trailing the Onwuegbuchulam, who had been on the run since the incident.

Speaking to NAN on the sidelines at his parade, Onwuegbuchulam said that he had been into robbery since 2012.

He said that he was the one, who snatched N2.8 million from the customer at Zenith Bank.

Onwuegbuchulam disclosed further that he got N400, 000 as his share in the robbery, while the remaining money was shared among other gang members and the informant. (NAN)

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