The #EndSARS protest Monday turned violent in part of Lagos State as the demonstration consumed the life of a police inspector and a bystander, leaving two other officers critically Injured.
Confirming the development, Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Police Command, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, explained that some armed protesters laid siege on the Anti-Kidnapping Unit Office of the command located at Iyun Road in Surulere, broke into the cell and liberated two of the kidnap suspects.
In the ensuing melee, Adejobi said Inspector Ekei Joshua with AP No 175493; Inspector Peter Agabi with AP No 251138; and Inspector Erinfolami Ayodeji with AP No 229241(now late) attached to the Anti Kidnapping Unit were shot and critically injured.
According to him, “Today, being 12th October, 2020, at about 1pm, some armed protesters laid siege on the Anti Kidnapping Unit Office of the command, broke into the cell and liberated two of the kidnap cases suspects, before they were tactically and professionally repelled.
“In the process, Inspector Ekei Joshua with AP No 175493, Inspector Peter Agabi with AP No 251138 and Inspector Erinfolami Ayodeji with AP No 229241(now late) attached to the Anti Kidnapping Unit of Lagos State Command, located at Iyun Road, Surulere were shot and critically injured; they have been rushed to the Intensive Care Unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.
“In addition, the protesters fired and killed one Ikechukwu Ilohamauzo, 55 years, a driver of one Toyota Sienna Bus, with Registration Number LSD 296 FX, who got stuck in the traffic caused by the blockage of the road by the violent protesters, in Surulere today.
“It is petinent to state that the attacked police inspectors and Mr Ikechukwu Ilohamauzu were hit and injured by pellets reasonably fired from pump actions/locally-made guns. The corpses of the deceased have been deposited in a mortuary for autopsy.”
The Public Relations Officer noted that four suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident, adding that Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered the Homicide section of SCID, Yaba to carry out thorough investigation into the incidence for further police actions.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Government has also corroborated the narrative by Lagos State Police Command.
The state government, in a statement by Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, dismissed the widely publicised notion that an #EndSARS protester was killed.
“The attention of Lagos State Government has been drawn to reports that an #ENDSARS protester has been killed in Surulere. This is not true.
“A group of hoodlums stormed the Anti-Kidnapping Unit at Hogan Bassey Street, Surulere, to free two suspects standing trial for alleged kidnapping. They shot three officers. One of them, Inspector Erinfolami Ayodeji, unfortunately, died. The others are Inspectors Ekein Joshua and Peter Agabi.
“The hoodlums, while escaping, fired into the air. A bystander was hit. He also died – sadly,” Omotoso said.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has commiserated with the families who lost their loved ones, praying God to strengthen them.
He urged all those concerned to ensure that protests do not degenerate further and create room for hoodlums who do not mean well for our society, adding that the state government is working with the police to ensure the restoration of the peace that Lagos has always been proud of.
Also, Lagos State Commissioner of Police has called for calm and professionalism from the protesters and police personnel respectively as the #EndSARS protests have been hijacked by some unscrupulous elements, who are fully armed.
Odumosu urged protesters to be peaceful and avoid violent attacks on police personnel or any other security agents, warning them not to harass innocent Lagosians by picketing them to forcefully join the protests; and should avoid blocking access routes or roads for other Nigerians who are as well entitled to their fundamental human rights.
He also appealed to parents and guardians to keep watch on their children and monitor their activities to avoid being mobilised and used for illegal activities in the state.