One killed, many injured as police officers open fire in Ifo

scene of the unrest at Ifo
scene of the unrest at Ifo

Easter Sunday’s celebrations were rudely disrupted yesterday evening in Ifo area of Ogun State as youths in the area blocked both lanes of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway to protest against the death of a young man, Akeem Akinsanya allegedly shot by policemen.

Akinsanya was a motorcycle operator and electrician before his death. For several hours, the busy highway and an alternative to the also busy Lagos-Ibadan expressway was on lockdown as youths set bonfires in protest against police brutality and killings of citizens. This forced many motorists and road users to be stranded

The breakdown of order occurred on the road at about 5:00p.m. immediately after police officers opened fire at a bus-stop in the axis, killing the young man and causing injuries to an unknown number of persons at Iyana Coker area of Ifo, a market community on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway. Akinsanya, a 25-year-old man, was reportedly killed by the police, according to his uncle, Habib Lawal, who said he witnessed the incident.

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Lawal, who said he is widely known in the community as ‘Obasanjo’, said the plainclothes officers were in the area to arrest a man. “They came to our area in a red Mazda 323 at about 4:30p.m to arrest a man. They arrested the man, but started shooting into the air as they were about to leave the area,” he said, adding that it was the sporadic shooting that led to the death of Akinsanya and left severe injuries on many others.

Lawal further told newsmen that the officers involved were arrested at the spot and were still being held at the police station in Ifo as at 7:45p.m. “We are all here to ensure that the police officers do not run away and escape justice,” he said.

Reacting to the incident, the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama, said the officers suspected to be responsible have been arrested. “They are from Zonal Intervention Squad, but I have ordered that they should be arrested in Ifo and brought to Abeokuta for disciplinary action,” he said.

This incident is coming barely three weeks after Kolade Johnson was killed by a police bullet in Mangoro area of Agege motor road, Lagos, and a week after a young woman was shot dead while returning from a nightclub also in Lagos. Johnson was killed when a team from the Gbagada division of the Lagos command’s Special Anti Cultism Squad (SACS) attempted to arrest another man because of his dreadlocks in the Mangoro area on Sunday, March 31.

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