The Lagos State Police Command has denied killing a cleaner, identified only as Francis, in the Ilupeju area of the state.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, said the victim was hit by a stray bullet fired by suspected robbers during an “encounter” between the gunmen and officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
We had earlier reported that the victim, Francis, died on the spot after being shot at by SARS operatives.
But in a statement, the police spokesperson, Elkana, claimed that the SARS men were not responsible for the death.
The statement was titled, ‘One hit by stray bullet during an encounter between SARS operatives and notorious armed robbers/cultists in Lagos.’
He said, “On July 15, 2019 around 7:30 a.m., SARS operatives led by Inspector Mohammed Akeem, while being led by a notorious gang leader, Ikechukwu Monye, 39-years-old, to where their arms were kept, were ambushed by members of the gang along Ajisegiri Street, Ilupeju.
“The assailants shot indiscriminately and in the process killed a middle-aged man who was passing by.
“Reinforcement was quickly drafted to the scene. The whole area has been cordoned off with a view to apprehending members of the gang and bring them to justice,” Elkana said in the statement.
The police spokesman noted that violent attacks between members of the Aiye and Eiye confraternities had been regular in the area.
He said the gang in question had been responsible for a series of robberies in the Ilupeju area and its environs, adding that they had been on the police wanted list for six murders.
“The command condemns the senseless killings of innocent persons by those criminal elements and will not also tolerate attacks on its personnel by criminal elements and vows to bring an end to the activities of this deadly gang.
“Members of the public are enjoyed to remain calm as the command has intensified patrols and surveillance in the affected areas.
“Meanwhile, the corpse of the victim of this violent attack has been removed and deposited at the mortuary for postmortem examination.
“The command extends its heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased person and assures them that justice will prevail,” the police spokesman added.