Officers of the Lagos State Police Command have been accused by residents of Okota in Isolo Local Government Area (LGA) of killing one Aliu Rafiu who was an Okada (Motorcycle) rider. According to reports, Rafiu met his untimely death in the early hours of Wednesday May 8, 2019, on his way to work, due to his refusal to pay N100 bribe to some police officers.
1. Narration of the incident from residents and motorcycle riders nearby
According to a resident of the area, Adebayo Ishola, motorcycle riders were prohibited from plying the road where Rafiu was found. He stated that policemen usually extorted money from okada men who were caught plying the road.
Narrating the incident, Ishola revealed that:
“This morning when we saw the body on the road, there was another motorcyclist at the scene. The motorcyclist said two policemen, Monday and Ekene, were responsible for the man’s death.”
He further stated that the victim was caught by two policemen identified as Ekene and Monday. The latter used his baton on the victim’s head. Ishola further said:
“Another person confirmed the presence of Monday at the scene. They were trying to extort money from the rider after he was apprehended. Monday used the butt of his gun to hit him and he fell. Blood started flowing from his head.
“Immediately they saw that the blood did not stop, they abandoned him and ran inside their station. I heard a motorist who drove behind the motorcyclist saying Monday and Ekene were the culprits,”
Nigeria police and Okada riders were in conflicts with each other for years
Another resident of the area who identified himself as Shola narrated his encounter:
“I was trying to board a vehicle when I saw the motorcycle rider in a pool of blood. I immediately alerted the police to the scene because no policeman was outside at the time. When I told them that there was someone on the floor, they rushed outside, put him inside their vehicle and rushed him to hospital.”
A video capturing the incident has gone viral online. In the video, we see a policeman approaching a motorist who was of the claim that he witnessed the incident. “The okada man was going on his own. He chased him; yes, he chased him. I know him (the policeman). He is tall, dark,” said the motorist before driving off.
The victim was confirmed dead at the Isolo General Hospital where he was rushed.
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2. Explanations from Police Public Relations Officers
Reacting to the report, Bela Elkana, Police Public Relations Officer of the state, debunked the involvement of the Police in the incident in a statement released.
The statement reads:
“The attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to a video being circulated on the social media in respect of a commercial motorcyclist said to have been chased to his death by a police officer. The allegation is false and a complete misrepresentation of the facts.
“On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, around 6am, the police at the Ago-Okota Police Station heard a loud sound a few meters away from the station and rushed out to ascertain what was going on. They found a motorcyclist in a pool of blood with his motorcycle on the ground. The victim was taken to hospital, but eventually died.
“On inquiries from eyewitnesses around the scene, it was gathered that the motorcyclist was involved in a fatal crash with a vehicle along the Ago Palace Way.
“An eyewitness, Mr Adedayo Benson, stated that this morning (Wednesday), he was standing in front of the Century Hotel and saw the motorcyclist, who was riding at top speed, ram into a road bump and suddenly applied his brakes but was hit by a Camry car driver, who was behind him.
“The driver of the Camry ran before the arrival of the police. Investigation into the accident is ongoing to track and apprehend the driver of the car with a view to bringing him to justice.”
Police Public Relations Officer is used to soothe the public
That's all what we get from police personnel. Either their eyewitness - Mr. Adedayo Benson or the officer in question - Mr. Monday gives direct speech to the public to clear the doubts.
Whether the police's explanations are reasonable or not, we must wait for further investigations. What about your opinion?