How Ikechukwu died protecting his jerry can of petrol
Civil Defence corps kill boy, shoot three others over fuel in FESTAC
TownPetrol tanker crushes seven vehicles on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway
The lingering fuel crisis, which is taking its drastic toll on Nigerians across the country, yesterday resulted in the death of two persons in Lagos when a female staff of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) shot dead a boy, simply identified as Ikechukwu and another unidentified person at the AP Filling Station 21 Road, FESTAC Town.
The boy was alleged to have bought fuel in a jerry can and was going home when he was accosted by a team of Civil Defence officials, who arrested him.
The boy, who eyewitnesses say could be about 18-years-old, was said to have laid down on the road pleading with the officials to allow him go home as he was not a fuel hawker, but had just bought the fuel for personal use.
Eyewitnesses said the commander of the team, who felt the boy was resisting arrest, ordered a female official to shoot the “bastard” and the woman promptly obeyed and shot the boy.
On seeing the boy dying in a pool of blood, the Civil Defence corps zoomed off in their patrol van and fled from the scene, while shooting frantically into the air.
According to Mr. Samuel Udeh, “the environment was peaceful, we were at Forte Oil filling station maintaining a queue with our gallons at around 1:30p.m., when the Civil Defence officers came in. They dragged our gallons and started seizing it, including those who have bought. Some of us objected, including the deceased.
“They said they were on a special mission to wage war against black marketers. He refused to release his gallon and then poured his petrol on himself, saying it is better than giving it away to the civil defense people.
“To my greatest surprise, they started shooting and were not facing it up but were pointing their guns at people, which led to the killing of Ikechukwu. He was shot at three times, a bullet on his shoulder, throat and stomach. He died instantly. Others who were badly injured are Dero Okowope, Smart and K.B. The most annoying thing is that it was a lady officer that was shooting and carelessly killed Ike. Immediately, they ran away with their van and continued shooting to scare people away,” he narrated.
They said they were on a special mission to wage war against black marketers. He refused to release his gallon and then poured his petrol on himself, saying it is better than giving it away to the civil defense people. To my greatest surprise, they started shooting and were not facing it up but were pointing their guns at people, which led to the killing of Ikechukwu. He was shot at three times, a bullet on his shoulder, throat and stomach. He died instantly.
As at press time, men of the military patrol tagged ‘OP Mesa’ and the Nigeria Police, led by the FESTAC Police Station Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Monday Agbonika, were on ground, making sure that the angry mob did not take laws into their hands.
The angry sympathizers had attempted to set the filling station and some petrol tankers ablaze, but were prevented by the security operatives.
A senior police officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the killing of the young boy was unwarranted. “Why should they kill the boy? I think the Civil Defence corps doesn’t know when to use firearms. They don’t even have regulation on fire arms usage.”
The Lagos State police command spokesman, Dolapo Badmos, who confirmed the incident, told The Guardian that the police was investigating the matter with a view to fishing out the Civil Defence personnel who committed the act and prosecuting them in the law court.
“One person was shot dead while three others were severely injured. The area commander Area E is on ground restoring normalcy while the command has commenced investigation to identify the civil defence operatives that were involved,” Badmos said.
In a related development, a multiple accident occurred at the Otedola bridge axis of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway yesterday, involving a petrol tanker and three other vehicles.
Eyewitnesses said the truck, loaded with petrol, had a failed brake and rammed into the vehicles close to it. Seven vehicles were affected, the worst being a commercial car with seven passengers on board.
A rescue official at the scene of the accident told newsmen that several people were injured in the crash, including a pregnant woman. The woman was said to have recovered at the Lagos State Emergency Hospital where she was rushed to.