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Policeman shoots schoolgirl

Posted by Olalekan Adetayo on 2005/10/12 | Views: 435 |

Policeman shoots schoolgirl


A police corporal identified as Funsho Godwin, attached to Itire Police Station, on Tuesday shot a female secondary school student in Surulere, Lagos.

A police corporal identified as Funsho Godwin, attached to Itire Police Station, on Tuesday shot a female secondary school student in Surulere, Lagos.

The incident occurred barely a week after the bloody military, police clash in Ojuelegba, few metres away from the scene of the shooting.

The victim, Miss Paullina Gabriel, a student of St. Joseph’s Junior Secondary School, Surulere, was allegedly shot at Lawani Junction on LUTH road, few minutes after 2pm while returning from school.

She is currently receiving treatment at the nearby Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba.

An eyewitness, Mr. Moses Akinwale, told our correspondent that the policeman and four of his colleagues in mufti were chasing the driver of a black jeep when the incident occurred.

Akinwale alleged that the policeman shot one of the front tyres of the jeep, and that the bullet fired into the tyre penetrated and hit the schoolgirl.

By the time news of the incident spread to the school, staff and students as well as residents of the area mobilised and apprehended the policeman, while his colleagues took to their heels.

He was locked up inside one of the blocks in the school for hours to avoid being lynched by the irate mob before he was released to a senior police officer, Mr. Joseph Kaide, at about 5.45pm.

Godwin told our correspondent that a report was made at his station about two weeks earlier that a black jeep belonging to a popular musician was stolen.

This, he explained, made his patrol team to stop the driver of the jeep.

"But when he refused to stop, we chased him with a bus. When we finally met him, I stood on his way, but he kept moving and I shot his tyre. I agree that pellets might have hit the girl," he said.

When our correspondent visited LUTH, the authorities of the hospital had ordered that an x-ray be conducted on the victim’s leg.

LUTH’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ayo Olagunju, said the x-ray was needed to clear gray areas created by "the claim and counter-claim of parties involved."

The report of the x-ray was not ready as at press time.

The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Mr. Adewole Ajakaiye, has however ordered the detention of the policeman.

Kaide who led a team of policemen that received the cop from the school authorities, said the police spokesman, Mr. Olubode Ojajuni, a deputy superintendent of police, had conveyed the police boss’ directive to him on telephone.

The PUNCH, Wednesday, October 12, 2005

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