Police inspector shoots motorcyclist over N500 bribe

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Pandemonium ensued in the Iyana Ishashi end of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway after a team of policemen engaged some tricycle and motorcycle riders in a fight over N500 “security fee”.

Police Inspector General, Solomon Arase
Police Inspector General, Solomon Arase

A policeman, identified as Inspector Wahab, was said to have shot a motorcycle rider, identified as Biliaminu, aka Bouncing.

Biliaminu was said to have been rushed to a private hospital in the state where he had been placed under intensive care

The four policemen, who were attached to the highway patrol team in the Idimu Police Division, reportedly surrendered themselves to the nearest police station in the area.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the suspects were later transferred to the state command headquarters and had been detained.

When our correspondent visited the scene, he gathered that it was not the first time that the policemen would go to the Iyana Ishashi bus stop on illegal duty.

A motorcycle rider, Bidemi Ayeni, said the policemen’s greed caused the incident, which happened on Friday.

He said, “The practice here is that whenever the police come to the park, we give them N500. That happens every Friday. It is called security fee. We pay them so that they will not disturb us. And we always rotate it among the three units in this park.

“The three units are the motorcycle riders, the tricycle drivers and the Kelebe drivers. Kelebe is a small-sized four-wheel vehicle.

“Last Friday was the turn of the Kelebe drivers to make settlement and after they had paid, the policemen said the N500 was too small for them.

“One of the Kelebe drivers then came inside the park to plead with the chairman of the tricycle drivers, so that he would also pay.

“Somebody abused him for not minding his business and the people there said it was not their turn to pay. The Kelebe driver went and reported to the policemen who sent him, and the officers came inside the park and assaulted the tricycle drivers’ chairman.”

Some thugs in the park and followers of the chairman were said to have attacked the Kelebe driver for his role in the incident.

As the policemen moved to avenge the assault of the Kelebe driver, bedlam reportedly ensued.

The park boys were said to have attacked the policemen with stones and other cudgels and the police repelled the attack.

The police inspector was alleged to have opened fire on the victim, who was among the chairman’s supporters.

A resident, who did not identify himself, said it was like a “war film”.

“There was shooting everywhere. We didn’t even know that Biliaminu had been hit by a bullet. It was after the dust had settled that we saw him in a pool of blood.

“The policeman that shot him actually pursued him and when he could not catch up with him, he shot him in the back.

“One of his ears was also seriously affected because he landed on an object. He was rushed to a hospital around here,” he added.

A motorcycle rider, Akeem Olomowewe, said the policemen reported themselves after the deed had been done.

“The Area Commander sent a team of officers to the scene and on Saturday, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police (Fatai Owoseni) sent another team to investigate what happened and talk to people in the park.

“Our leaders have gone to the command headquarters today (Monday) to make their statements,” he said.

A tricycle driver, who spoke on condition of anonymity, accused the policemen of extortion, adding that they paid about N10,000 every month for settlement.

He said, “We pay the police and even military officers whenever they come here.

“If we don’t pay the money, they could seize our means of livelihood and to get them back, you will have to pay at least N10, 000. And how much are we making from this business?”

Our correspondent observed as a team of armed policemen, who came in a bus tagged ‘FSARS’, were informed of the development and asked to come back when the park leaders would be back from the meeting with the CP.

“We have been asked to suspend all payments for now. Those policemen appeared to be under a spell with what happened on Friday, and they caused this, so please bear with us,” a man suspected to be one of the park leaders told the visitors.

The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said the police were investigating the case.

She said, “The report is that a team of policemen fired during an encounter with some hoodlums in the Iyana Ishashi area.

“Afterwards, it was discovered that a bullet had strayed into an okada operator (motorcyclist). Meanwhile, the police are still investigating the team and their report.”

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