Petrol hawker shot dead at filling station
COMMERCIAL motorcyclist aka Okada rider was killed yesterday and three others injured when Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) officials allegedly shot at customers at a Forte Oil Filling Station in Festac, Lagos.
Ossy Emeka died on the spot; the injured – Smart, Kabiru Yusuf (KB) and Diran – were whisked away by the NSCDC officials.
According to his colleagues, the late Emeka, who recently started an auto spare-parts business, after his mother gave him N600,000, was about quitting commercial motorcycling.
The NSCDC officials, who came in a patrol van, reportedly attempted to seize jerry cans of petrol from some black marketers.
The officers, it was learnt, were led by some motorcyclists who were beneficiaries of the seized product.
The motorcyclists were said to have led the officers from Second Rainbow into Festac Town because the petrol is given to them. They reportedly pointed out some of the black marketers and where their kegs were hidden.
In anger, some youths and others, who queued up for fuel with their generators and motorcycle fuel tanks took on the beneficiaries of the seized fuel. The NSCDC men were said to have stopped a commercial bus and asked a passenger identified as Smart, who just bought petrol in a keg, to surrender it.
Smart was said to have refused and the NSCDC men allegedly started beating him. Smart was said to have doused himself with the petrol.
An eyewitness said: “Immediately he poured the fuel on his body, a female officer cocked her gun; shot Smart on his buttocks and kept shooting in the air. Then, she went and asked for permission from another man who was inside their vehicle and when she returned, she shot Diran alias Kowope and KB (Kabiru Yusuf) on their legs.
“They shot sporadically for about 20 minutes here. Meanwhile, at G-Close, opposite the Festac Town Muslim Community (FTMC) Mosque, the NSCDC woman shot Ossy three times on his neck and chest.
“As they were shooting, people were running in the confusion. Ossy was carrying his motorcycle's fuel tank and heading towards the filling station to buy fuel. He was not a black marketer and he stays on Sixth Avenue.
“They shot him three times and ensured he was dead.”
The eyewitness, who gave his name as Emmanuel said the NSCDC officials abandoned his Eze's body and took about five people hostage including the three with gunshot injuries.
Another eyewitness, who gave her name as Ada, said all was calm until the arrival of the NSCDC officials.
She claimed the army, navy personnel and policemen from the Area E Command were inside the filling station maintaining order, adding that the NSCDC men arrived after they left.
“The army, navy and police were here. They were flogging people who were not maintaining peace and also chasing black marketers away from the filling station. Everywhere was peaceful and calm.
“But when they moved upward few minutes later, the NSCDC people came with some Okada riders. Those NSCDC people are not even from Festac division, they came all the way from First Rainbow where they have been seizing fuel and giving it out.
“Before they shot Ossy three times, they cut him with knife first. It was the NSCDC people that cut him. After cutting him around his upper arm, they shot him three times.
“I really do not know why they killed him because he was not selling fuel. He's a very quiet Okadaman. They left his body there, it was police that came and carried him away. The woman who started the shooting is fair in complexion,” she said.
There were blood stains on the ground of the filling station when The Nation got there yesterday.
The Area E Commander, Chris Owolabi, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), and the Festac Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Monday Agbonika, led their men to pacify the angry youth.
Soldiers attached to the Operation Mesa have taken over the area; the sale of fuel has been suspended at the station.
A woman, who described herself as Kabiru Yusuf's mother was seen begging policemen to rescue her son from the NSCDC men.
According to her, the officials took her son to Alausa, alongside two others.
“I really do not know what happened. But I got a call that my son was taken to Alausa that's why I came here. My son does not sell fuel. I heard he was not shot, others said he was shot, so, I do not know which one to believe,” she said.
At the time of this report, the police were still gathering information on the NSCDC men and their unit.
Police spokesperson, Dolapo Badmos, a Superintendent (SP), said investigation was on to identify the civil defence operatives.
“Some yet to be identified civil defence men in a patrol vehicle had scuffle with some men at AP filling station which led to indiscriminate firing from the civil defence personnel.
“One motorcycle (Okada) rider Emeka other name yet unknown was shot dead while three others severely injured. The men of Area E Command were called upon, the Area Commander ACP Chris Tokunbo Owolabi is currently on ground restoring normalcy in the area; the command has commenced investigation to identify the civil defence operatives that were involved,” she said.