Posted by By Evelyn Usman & Mayowa Oyewale on
BUSINESS activities in Ikeja, capital of Lagos State were yesterday paralysed following continued protest by commercial motorcyclists popularly called okada over Monday's killing of one of their colleagues by a lieutenant in the Nigerian Navy .
LAGOSóBUSINESS activities in Ikeja, capital of Lagos State were yesterday paralysed following continued protest by commercial motorcyclists popularly called okada over Monday's killing of one of their colleagues by a lieutenant in the Nigerian Navy .
The protest reports said, started at about 7am as the okada riders took to the streets and vented their anger on innocent passers-by and motorists, destroying several vehicles in the process.
Besides, the deceased identified as Peter Eze was yesterday confirmed to be a staff of WAHUM group of companies. He was said to be returning from the office in the company of one of his female relatives when the tragic incident occurred at Oregun junction on Awolowo road.
Police authorities however said yesterday that the Navy officer, identified as Lieutenant Felix Odunlami attached to Beecroft Apapa had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti for further investigation.
There is however a new twist on the incident as Vanguard reliably gathered that the Navy officer claimed upon interrogation that the deceased attempted to rob him, as a result of which he had to shoot him to defend himself.
When contacted, the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr Adewole Ajakaye told Vanguard that investigations had begun to ascertain the true position of the incident and that it was impossible for the Police to draw conclusion until final investigation is out.
Said he, " we have heard from the side of the motorcyclists and it is necessary for us to hear from the person in question. This is a clear case of murder that needs to be investigated properly before drawing conclusions. Investigation is still going on and all available facts are being gathered and it will be wrong to get to any conclusion now."
Ajakaye who frowned at the actions of the okada riders , describing them as disturbance of public peace, however appealed for calm saying, two wrongs can never make a right.
On whether the suspect would be handed over to the Navy authorities for disciplinary measures, Ajakaye answered in the negative, explaining that since the case was clearly that of alleged murder the Navy would only render any needed assistance when called upon. The suspect he said would be charged to court at the end of the investigation.
On its own part, the Navy authorities have sent some of their officers to ascertain the true identity of the suspect. Vanguard gathered that about four officers were yesterday at SCID, Panti to question the suspect and verify if he was a Naval officer or if he only impersonated a Lieutenant in the Navy.
ing their members to order and avoid causing damage on public property.
Narrating the circumstance that led to the protest, Olubode said, " there was report at Alausa police station on Monday at about 1840 hours that one Lieutenant Felix Odunlami , a Naval officer attache d to NNS Beecroft Apapa who was driving in mercedez Benz 190 car with registration number AR 374 SMK shot at point blank and killed one Peter Eze , a staff of WAHUM Group of Companies along Oba Akran Ikeja. This resulted from a dispute that arose after a minor accident involving the motorcyclist and Naval officer at Oregun junction. The shooting of the company staff sparked off spontaneous riots which disrupted the evening traffic and affected hundreds of commuters who were on their way home from work.
The okada riders who apparently mistook the victim as one of their own, pounced on the naval officer, set his car ablaze , mobbed and put used tyre on his neck to set him on fire. It was the prompt intervention of policemen from Alausa division that rescued the Naval officer from being burnt to death."