A trigger-happy policeman attached to the Lagos State Task Force has damaged the leg of a barber, Onyekachi Chinedum, when he shot at passersby during a raid on commercial motorcyclists, known as okada riders, in the Alimosho area of the state.
SaharaReporters learnt that Chinedum, a 37-year-old barber, was returning from his shop and had wanted to use an Automated Teller Machine when the bullets hit him.
He was thereafter rushed to a number of private hospitals in the area, as they rejected him one after the other.
He was later referred to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi because of the seriousness of his condition.
SaharaReporters gathered that the policeman in question bragged that he was unchallengeable while chasing the okada riders, threatening to shoot at anyone of them.
Speaking with SaharaReporters, Chinedum, who was writhing in pain, said the doctor had booked him for a surgery and he was helpless.
He said, “I closed from my shop yesterday, Monday, and someone transferred some money to my bank account which I wanted to use an ATM nearby to withdraw. The next thing I heard were gunshots. As I was trying to hide from the continuous gunshots, I found myself on the floor and knew I had been shot in the leg.
“I am in pain. The doctor said I would undergo a surgery. I have just one person with me. I don’t even know how to get out of this.”
He, however, said he did not know the name of the policeman.
A source told SaharaReporters that the policemen shot indiscriminately in the area.
“The policemen from the task force stormed the Akowonjo roundabout and began to shoot indiscriminately. The man was on his way home from work and as he stood at the roundabout to use an ATM and was talking to a friend, he was shot.
“He is a barber and a Paga operator. His shop is opposite the Alimosho Local Government Secretariat. He was transferred to Igbobi after he was rejected by all the private hospitals in the area.
“The statement made by the policeman was ‘nobody dares to challenge me’. It was said that they came to the Akowonjo roundabout to raid okada riders,” the source said.
Nigerian youths last year organised #EndSARS protests in some states in the country, demanding that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad should be disbanded.
SARS was a special police unit notorious for extrajudicial killings and extortion and human rights violations.
The unit was disbanded but police brutality in the country has not abated.
SaharaReporters, New York