Tragedy struck in Ebute Oniyanrin, Bariga area of Lagos when a police officer, Adekan Adesola, allegedly shot dead Abiodun Balogun on Tuesday, September 22.
Abiodun who works at a block moulding factory was said to have been invited to Oniyanrin area by a friend because it was reported that some politicians were going to distribute sallah gifts. He subsequently went to the place with an unidentified friend.
According to The Punch, Abiodun was manhandled by the sergeant, Adesola who was not in uniform at that time. He reportedly dragged Abiodun on the ground and shot him, prompting his friend to flee for his life.
The mother of the deceased, Aishat Balogun was informed via phone of her son’s death and when she visited the Bariga Police Division where the body was taken to, she was barred from entering to see the body of her son.
The police however said the deceased was shot during an exchange of fire between him and the policeman. It was also reported that he was a wanted cultist.
Aishat denied that her son was a cultist and said he had gone out because someone invited him to come and collect sallah gift.
“I was still with him on Monday, and we were discussing how we would celebrate the Sallah. I did not know that evil was lurking. It was around 8am today (Tuesday) that someone called me and said the sergeant had shot Abiodun dead. The lie they are spreading now is that he was a cultist.
“But the fact is that Adesola is a notorious policeman in our area. He has been shooting at people, claiming that they are cultists. But Abiodun was not a cultist. They had been luring him to join them, but he refused. I do not know the fate of my son presently. I have not been allowed to see him at the police division.”
Abiodun’s wife said they were together until he got the call to come and collect sallah gift. She denied that he had a gun or went out with any weapon as against the police report that he had exchanged gun fire with the police.
“We were together till around 7am when that phone call came in. So, he went to the area to collect his gift.
“That was where Adesola met and shot him. The policeman was in mufti, and Abiodun was not carrying a gun. He did not have any weapon.”
Joe Offor, the Lagos state public relations officer insisted however that Abiodun was a wanted cultist and that the matter had been transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad for further investigation.
He said: “He was a wanted cultist by the police. He died during the exchange of fire. He was known in the area as Anarchy. The case has been taken to SARS for further investigation.”
Police indiscriminate shooting is fast becoming a recurring incident in Lagos, a week ago, A tricycle operator and his family were shot at by police because he failed to give bribe. The police thought he was a commercial driver.