UPDATED: One killed as police, okada riders clash in Lagos

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AFEEZ HANAFI

One person yet-to-be-identified was reportedly shot dead while another was injured on Saturday during a clash between commercial motorcyclists popularly known as okada riders and policemen at the Itire area of Lagos.

It was learnt that some policemen from the Itire division seized motorcycles from two riders said to be Hausa around 8am and took the bikes to the station.

The owners of the motorcycles were said to have reported the incident to their members who followed them to the police station on motorcycles to protest the seizure.

In a one-minute-ten-second video of the incident obtained by our correspondent, policemen are seen firing bullets while trying to dodge objects thrown at them.

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A resident, who identified himself only as Idris, confirmed to our correspondent that police fired tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters, who in turn reportedly hurled stones at the cops.

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He said the policemen replied with gunshots during which one person was hit and died on the spot while another sustained bullet injuries to his mouth.

Idris stated, “Policemen stopped two okada riders early this morning (Saturday) and seized their motorcycles. They went to call their members and some minutes later, a number of them stormed the police station on motorcycles in protest.

“When police fired tear gas to disperse them, they started throwing stones and other objects at the police. The policemen began to shoot. Bullets hit someone in the mouth and killed another person who was not part of the protest. He sat somewhere when the bullet hit him and he died on the spot.”

Another resident, who spoke to Sunday PUNCH on condition of anonymity, said the mayhem lasted for hours before peace was restored.

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“Police eventually chased them away. As I speak to you, armed policemen are around the area. A policeman was also injured,” he added.

Meanwhile, there was a clash between rival gangs in the Alakuko area of the state in the early hours of Saturday and two of the hoodlums were reportedly feared dead.

Our correspondent learnt from a landlord in the community, Kunle Alabi, that the fight was between boys from Dalemo in Ogun State led by one Biodun aka Confidence and a gang in Alakuko called Ori Tiles Boys – infamous for attacking their targets with the sharp edge of broken tiles.

Alabi said, “They started the fight around 12am and it lingered till dawn. In the morning, the road was littered with broken bottles. Each side lost one person respectively.

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“They had been fighting for a long time. Some Ori Tiles Boys had seen Confidence on a bike on Friday evening. They attacked the rider after he dropped him off. Confidence learnt about it and mobilised his boys to Alakuko.”

The spokesperson for the police in the state, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, promised to get back to our correspondent on the two clashes but had yet to do so as of press time.

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