The Lagos State Police Command has dared 81 Division of the Nigerian Army to show a proof that any soldier was shot during a clash between some cops and army personnel last week.
The State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, threw the challenge Wednesday, 10 August, 2022, in response to reports that a soldier was shot by a policeman during the altercation.
TheFact Daily had reported that the Army had, last week, set up a panel to investigate the altercation between soldiers and policemen in Lagos, that led to the death of a Police Inspector, Monday Orukpe. Orukpe and his colleagues were attacked by soldiers while controlling traffic on the Trade Fair section of the ever-busy Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
The soldiers, who were reportedly returning from a course, got infuriated when traffic on their lane was stopped to allow other road users easy passage. They got down from their vehicle, pounced on the policemen, abducted them into their bus and drove them to Ojo Cantonment.
Before they left the scene, however, a third policeman was to be abducted, but he fired gunshots into the air which forced the soldiers to retreat.
The incident had created tension in the State, but an army delegation led by Brigadier-General KN Nwoko paid a condolence visit to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, CP Abiodun Ablabi, last week.
Hundeyin, in his statement, accused the army of attempting to twist what transpired. He said in as much as the Lagos State Police Command was in a grieving mood and had decided to toe the line of civility, it would not accept misinformation.
He explained that on the fateful day, about thirty Privates of the Nigerian Army attacked five policemen for stopping vehicles along their lane to pave way for a heavy duty truck joining the expressway.
After the soldiers had brutalized the ASP leading the team, taken out his magazine, and abducted two Inspectors with their rifles, the next Inspector they attempted to attack fired a single shot into the air, making the soldiers to retreat.
“The single shot was into the air. At no point was anyone hit. The Lagos State Police Command challenges the Army authorities to present the soldier allegedly shot. While we mourn our fallen hero, and pray for the total recovery of the second abducted Inspector, we urge Nigerians to disregard the claim that a soldier was shot as there is absolutely no truth to it”, Hundeyin said.
He added that the Lagos Police Command was awaiting the report of the panel of inquiry set up by the Nigerian Army to investigate the immediate and remote cause of the incident.
The PPRO also asked the army to fish out the soldiers behind the torture and murder of the deceased officer, and return “the two AK47 rifles and three magazines carted away by the soldiers”.