Five traders were injured and several others escaped death after trigger happy policemen attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Zone II Police Command, Onikan, Lagos State stormed Owode Onirin Market, Agboyi Ketu Local Council Development Area of Lagos State on Saturday and opened fire.
The policemen, numbering over five, were said to have been led into the market by a former Chairman of the market, simply identified Ojolowo.
The team allegedly opened fire on hapless traders.
By the time the smoke from their guns cleared, five traders had sustained bullet wounds.
A trader said: “The police came in a Sienna car.
“They came out of their vehicle and started shooting sporadically into the market.
“We later heard that they came to arrest Alhaji, the Babaloja of the
“He is over 89 years old.” It was further gathered that Ojolowo
and his team were supposed to remit N1.5 million revenue to the council’s account, but instead they brought SARS operatives and shot five traders in the market.
One of the traders, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “We were in our various shops around 3pm when the policemen came and started chasing traders with guns.
“The cause of the problem is power tussle.
“Ojolowo’s tenure expired July ending.
“He and his executives came on board three years ago.
“They have however refused to leave office.
“After they refused to leave office at the end of their tenure, we lodged a complaint at Ajegunle Police Station.
“Both parties were invited for peace talk and it was agreed election would be conducted by the first week of August.”
According to the trader, a day before the election, however, the outgoing executive members went to the market’s central mosque and announced that the election had been postponed.
This allegedly angered some of the traders vying for elective positions in the market.
Another trader, Tajudeen Alade, said: “Instead of the executives to adhere to the existing agreement to conduct another election on Saturday, they went to Zone II Police Command and brought SARS operatives.
“The policemen shot five of our traders.
“Several traders sustained injuries as they attempted to run from stray bullets.
“We appeal to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to come to our aid.
“We’re law abiding traders in this market.
“Policemen should not come into the market where we are making our living from and start trying to kill us like chicken.
“How can they shoot into the market?”
One of the victims shot by the SARS men, identified himself as Wakilu Odunsi.
Odunsi said: “I was attending to a customer when the stray bullet from the policemen hit me on my right leg.
“I didn’t know I had been shot until I saw blood gushing out of my leg.
“I found myself on the ground, writhing in pain as everyone ran in different directions.
“It was after they left the market that some of my co-traders came and took me to hospital where the bullet was removed.
“To tell you the truth, I didn’t expect policemen to start shooting in that manner and in a public place.”
Another victim, Shakiru Alebiosu, who sustained gunshot on his thigh, recounted: “I was coming from the main gate of the market when I saw policemen in their vehicle.
“Someone in the vehicle pointed at me from the vehicle.
“When I tried to escape, one of the policemen came after me.
“He shot me point blank on my thigh.
“They zoomed off immediately.
“I don’t think the policeman meant to kill me.”
Morufu Ayoade, who was shot on the
back, said: “The action of the policemen was shameful.
“I saw some of the traders running to different directions.
“I also joined them.
“Before I knew what was happening, a bullet hit me on the back.
“I was immediately rushed to a private hospital.
“It was at the hospital I met other traders who had also been shot.”
Attempt to speak with Ojowolo was abortive.
He was not in the market at the time of this report.
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