By Frank Oshanugor
More facts have emerged on the circumstances that led to the brutal killing of the police officer in charge of Operations at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters, Ikeja, Chief Superintendent of Police, (CSP) Kazeem Abonde, on Thursday, during a clash with commercial motorcyclists popularly called Okada at Ajao Estate, Lagos.
It was reliably learned that the team of policemen from the department of operations at the command headquarters stormed the popular notorious Okada riders park near Eleganza and Canoe areas.
They were on official assignment to enforce the Lagos state government restriction order on commercial motorcyclists on prohibited route around Ajao Estate area of the state.
The riders were said to have resisted the police effort to impound their bikes. Some of them reportedly manouvered their bikes out from the area while the unfortunate ones were impounded.The situation, however, took a different dimension when those that escaped from the areas re-grouped and surged forward to confront the police.
They were reportedly advancing towards the police in their numbers armed with dangerous weapons such as cutlasses, bottles, battle axe, sticks and stones. At this junction, the Chief Superintendent of Police warned his men not to shoot in order to avoid extra judicial killings. Regrettably, the riders
succeeded in chasing the armed policemen out from the scene and continued the chase towards the main gate leading to the estate.
At this stage, it was learned that the police team led by the late CSP Abonde abandoned their patrol vehicle and disappeared in different directions as the CSP had ordered them not to shoot.
While the CSP was busy making frantic efforts to calm the situation appealing to the hoodlums to embrace peace and avoid violence, his men disappeared because they were not comfortable with the CSP’s order as they noticed the hoodlums, were taking advantage of the order. The crowd succeeded in vandalizing their vehicle.
The CSP was attacked as dangerous weapon were freely used on him by the hoodlums whom he ordered his men not to fire. He reportedly fell down moaning in pains and crying out for help.
Some good Samaritans tried assisting him towards a nearby hospital.
It was gathered that as they were moving him close to the hospital location, the hoodlums intercepted them thereby forcing the helpers to flee for safety. They reportedly pounced on the wounded officer, smashed his head with large stones and snatched his official pistol.
A witness who craved anonymity told our correspondent that the slain officer would have been saved if he had ordered his men to engage the hoodlums.
The CSP kept on pleading for mercy, while huge stones and other dangerous weapons were being smashed on his head. They reportedly replied saying “if na police arrest our Okada una no dey hear abeg” just as the helpless officer yelled and yelled for help but nobody could attend to his situation at that moment before taking his last breath. A lot of blood was gushing out from his smashed skull.
The witness added that “As soon as they completed their evil mission, they continued their onslaught by terrorizing passers-by and motorists for hours. Scores were wounded while others lost valuables. It was sad that the riders were allowed to operate leisurely for hours without police intervention while the decapitated body of their slain officer laid on the lone street.”
Meanwhile, fear has continued to grip residents of the estate especially those living around the notorious Canoe area where the incident started.
They are anticipating that police may embark on mass raid in the Ajao Estate area.