An 18-year-old admission seeker, Samuel Omojuwa, is in a critical condition at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, after he was allegedly shot by one of the policemen attached to the Ketu Police Division, Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Samuel’s elder brother, David, a businessman, was also attacked with a cutlass by another member of the three-man police team on Omojuwa Street on Sunday.
One of the policemen was identified simply as Inspector Gboyega.
However, the police spokesperson, Dolapo Badmos, denied that the policemen shot Samuel and attacked David with a cutlass, saying the police were not farmers.
Our correspondent gathered that the policemen had attempted to arrest a commercial motorcycle rider for allegedly breaking a traffic rule.
The rider, whose motorcycle was reportedly confiscated, was said to have struggled with the officers.
The policemen allegedly hit the motorcyclist with a cutlass, which drew the ire of his colleagues at the junction, who later intervened.
The incident was said to have created confusion in the area.
It was learnt that David, the son of a community leader, reportedly approached the policemen.
A resident of the area, Abayomi Salaudeen, said, “The policemen are well known to us. So, David thought he could mediate. But one of them, who didn’t know David, attacked him with a cutlass.
“His younger brother, Samuel, who witnessed the incident, abused the officers from the front of their house, which was a bit far from the scene. One of the policemen fired a shot, which hit him in the leg.”
Our correspondent was told that efforts by residents to rescue Samuel and take him to a hospital were resisted by the policemen who insisted on taking him to the station.
He was allegedly dragged from the spot to a waiting police van and thrown into the back of the vehicle.
A member of the victim’s family, Emmanuel, said the family and some other residents went to the station to demand an explanation for the action.
“But the policemen at Ketu division said it was not their division that carried out the operation. When we continued our protest because we saw the operational vehicle they brought in the station, they later brought him out of the cell.
“He was then taken to the Accident and Emergency Centre at the tollgate area in Ojota, where he was given first aid,” he added.
It was learnt that the victim was transferred to the NOHI on Monday where he was placed on admission.
The police were alleged to have abandoned him despite promising to foot the hospital bill.
“They didn’t release the police report on time. They also didn’t pay the hospital bill. The Ketu Divisional Police Officer told us all kinds of lies, saying it was a minor injury and within six days he would walk; whereas the bullet broke the boy’s bones,” Emmanuel added.
The victim, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone from the hospital bed, said he was in pain, adding that the bullet had been removed from his leg.
“I am in serious pain. I have injuries all over my body. Doctors have removed the bullet today,” he said.
Bayo Omojuwa, a family member, called for justice.
He said, “I want the law to take its course. I have seen the Area Commander, who acted promptly and promised to do something about the matter. The case is nothing but an abuse of power and I want the culprits brought to book.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Badmos, said, “The report from the division was that some hoodlums went on the rampage around Ilele Street, Kosofe, after which two of them, Yusuf Aliu and Yusuf Mojeed, were arrested for being in possession of items suspected to be hemp by operatives of the division.
The policemen were attacked. It is not true that the policemen use a cutlass. How can they use a cutlass when they are not farmers?”