A police officer assigned to the Bariga Police Division in Lagos is in the soup for allegedly killing a youth named Banji Lawunmi.
CRIME DIGEST gathered that Inspector Smart Osadolor was recently arrested by his colleagues for shooting Lawunmi during a fight between two rival groups on Iyeleke Street in the Bariga area.
â€œLawunmi died about three weeks ago. On the day of the incident, two groups of cultists who routinely go round the Bariga community, harassing building developers and other businesses for levies, received N250, 000. The money was paid by a man who had recently started work on his parcel of land as practised all over Lagos. After collecting the money, a minor disagreement arose over the sharing of the money. Before we knew it, the two groups had started fight,â€ a resident said, on condition of anonymity.
The source said some residents sent a distress call to the Bariga police division where Osadolor was in charge of the anti-robbery department.
In response to the call, Osadolor was said to have arrived the scene of the fighting in company with another policeman. But, the two feuding groups quickly set upon both men.
â€œImmediately Osadolor got down from his motorcycle and approached the crowd, they rushed at him. Frightened, his colleague turned and fled, leaving the inspector alone to face the unruly youths. In an attempt to disperse the crowd, Osadolor fired a shot, which unfortunately hit Lawunmi in the neck. The cultists ran away from the scene.
â€œOsadolor then helped Lawunmi onto his bike and was about to take him to the police station when more cultists arrived. This time, they were able to drag Osadolor from his motorcycle. Lawunmi was still alive at the time. The cultists attacked Osadolor with bottles and other sharp objects. When they tried to take his gun from him, he fired another shot. With the assistance of a commercial motorcyclist, he was able to escape to a private hospital nearby for treatment. Osadolor was arrested at the hospital by the DPO who was informed that one of his men was being lynched for killing someone,â€ another resident known as Ola said.
CRIME DIGEST gathered that while Osadolor was being mobbed, some of the cultists took Lawunmi away. A few hours later, news filtered into the community that the youth had died at the Ikeja General Hospital due to loss of blood.
Angered by Lawunmiâ€™s death, the youths of the community were said to have marched to the police station in Bariga with the intention of burning it.
â€œIf not for the combined effort of police teams from the Area H command and Op Messa, the situation would have degenerated to a riot. After he was arrested at the hospital, Osadolor was later transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti,â€ Ola said.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent Ngozi Braide, was not available for comment as she did not reply the calls and text messages made to her phone.