Policemen of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Lagos State mistakenly shot and killed a young man at the Ogoja Market, LASU-Igando Road, Lagos State.
The young man, named Eldanojie Joseph, was later discovered to be an undergraduate of a Polytechnic in Edo State. The 20-year-old student of Business Administration was in Lagos to visit his cousin, Friday Ojah, who lived on Alape Street, Iba Ojo, when he was hit by a stray bullet from a police gun.
It has been discovered that the police operatives were chasing a suspected Internet fraudster, only identified as Badoo, who had parked his car and fled immediately he saw the officers. The policemen were said to have started shooting sporadically. Unfortunately, Joseph, an Edo State indigene, who had gone out to buy a drink with his cousin, was hit by a stray bullet.
To make matters worse, eyewitnesses reported that the officers took Joseph’s corpse, dumped it in the boot of the suspected fraudster’s car and drove off. Joseph’s cousin, Ojah, said that the police, in a bid to cover up their gruesome mistake, said Joseph was a cult member.
He said, “We grew up and attended the same primary and secondary schools together. He gained admission into a polytechnic in Edo State, while I am still processing my admission into the same school.” He explained that Joseph had only arrived in Lagos about three weeks ago.
“Around 9.30am on Monday, we strolled out to buy a can of soft drink. We were returning home when we learnt that some policemen were chasing somebody. We decided to go through the back of the market. As we turned back, my brother was hit by a bullet in the head and he fell down immediately. As I tried to call for help, I saw that the policeman that shot him had aimed his gun at me. I fled the place immediately.”
He said the officers put the lifeless body of Joseph into the boot of the fraudster’s car and drove away. It was gathered that the SARS team that conducted the operation alleged that the victim was a cult member and he had attempted to shoot at them when they fired back. But Ojah quickly shot down this narrative “But it was all lies. He only had the canned drink we bought, a phone charger and a handset on him when the incident happened. The police lied to cover up their misdeed,” He added.
The policemen on the team that killed the victim were identified as Lucky and Oganla.
A family friend of the victim, Mr Saheed Sanni, who is also a legal practitioner has said the policemen must be arrested and brought to book.
He said, “Cases like this, involving SARS officers, have become rampant in the state. They kill with impunity and believe they can always get away with it. Whereas Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution protects the sanctity of human lives and prescribes punishment for violation of that sanctity. You cannot just take anybody’s life without a court order or judgment. We are taking up the case and justice must be done.”