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Police barracks set ablaze by soldiers – Lagos CP

Posted by Champion on 2005/10/14 | Views: 697 |

Police barracks set ablaze by soldiers – Lagos CP


POLICE authorities in Lagos yesterday said the General Officer Commanding 81 Division (GOC), Ikoyi, Major-General Samaila Iliya lied by saying that Area C Police Barracks was set ablaze by area boys.

POLICE authorities in Lagos yesterday said the General Officer Commanding 81 Division (GOC), Ikoyi, Major-General Samaila Iliya lied by saying that Area C Police Barracks was set ablaze by area boys.

Testifying before Senator Nuhu Aliu led Senate panel on the clash between Police and Soldiers, Lagos State Commissioner of Police Mr. Adewole Ajakaiye, said the barracks was set on fire by the soldiers who overpowered the policemen.

Ajakaiye who spoke on the incident for the first time, said property worth over N3.5 billion were lost to the last Tuesday mayhem.

Ajakaiye, who led other senior police officers to Surulere local government secretariat, venue of the panel’s sitting, alleged that the soldiers prevented men of the fire service from putting out the fire that razed parts of the police office complexes.

He however, disclosed that the crisis at Area ‘C’ police barracks might have been fuelled by an unidentified senior army officer who attempted to free his relation held in the station for armed robbery.

The Lagos police boss also informed the panel that the cause of the incident was not as a result of the alleged extortion by the police but a minor disagreement between a policeman and army men who should be carried as a "staff" by a commercial bus driver. Any of them treated as "staff" will not pay the fare.

He noted that 25 hardened criminals were released by the soldiers and armoury looted during the crisis which claimed three lives leaving 80 others seriously injured.

Earlier, the soldiers led by Iliya had told the panel which continues its sitting today that Area boys set the barracks ablaze because of what he described as public hatred for the police for alleged misconduct.

He also told the panel that the crisis was triggered off by police attempt to extort money from a commercial motor cycle rider (Okada) who was conveying an army officer to an undisclosed destination.

Also testifying before the panel, army officer in charge of intelligence corps, Colonel C. Adekoye, said: "There were rumours that a Major General was killed, I relayed it to them but I could not confirm it. Later, I realised that no Major-General died."

However, the private in the Army that was been carried on the motor bike Mr. Tajudeen Agbabiaka claimed that he was on the motorbike when a policeman stopped them and demanded a toll of N20 which he objected to.

Answering question from the committee, Mr. Agbabiaka said he disarmed the policemen and collected his AK 47 rife before he reported the matter to their boss at Area C.

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