Tragedy struck on Thursday at Ijegun Road in the Alimosho area of Lagos State, after a woman, Idongesit Ekpo, and her husband, Godwin, were shot by a team of policemen attached to the Isheri Osun Police Division.
Idongesit died on the spot, while Godwin was said to be gasping for breath at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, where he was taken for treatment.
It was gathered that the couple was returning from a church programme on Wednesday in a tricycle belonging to the family when the incident happened.
Punch reports that Godwin met a police checkpoint at Obalagbe bus stop, where some other tricycle drivers were being reportedly extorted by an eight-man police team.
Godwin ignored the police after he was flagged down and he sped past. One of the officers angrily broke his windscreen with a baton.
A police corporal, identified as Aremu Musesiu, was said to have opened fire on the tricycle.
It was learnt that the bullet pierced through the tricycle back side and hit Idongesit, who was breast-feeding a three-month-old baby.
Her husband, Godwin, who looked back when the shot was fired, was said to have also been hit in the neck.
The policemen hurriedly took money from the tricycle drivers they had earlier detained, before they vanished from the scene.
The incident attracted the attention of tricycle drivers in the community who trooped out on Thursday to protest the death and demanded justice for the victims.
The protesters held placards, with inscriptions such as, ‘Isheri Police, your generation will suffer,’ ‘Stop killing us,’ among others.
The Financial Secretary of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, Lagos State branch, Chinanzor Ifechiga, was brutalised and her telephone seized by the Divisional Police Officer.
Ifechiga, who was accused of filming the protest and taking pictures, was manhandled by eight policemen, who struggled to take the phone from her on the order of the DPO.
A tricycle driver, Henry Chibuzor, said the couple was shot at around 10pm on Wednesday.
He said, “I was going home around 10pm when I saw the eight-man team asking me to stop at a checkpoint. I was there with four other tricycle drivers.
“The man was coming from church with his family. As he got to the junction, he swerved and his tricycle mistakenly brushed their patrol van.
“A policeman hit the tricycle’s windscreen with a baton and damaged it. The second policeman fired a bullet which hit the woman in the neck, came out from the other side, and hit her husband too.”
He said the policemen collected N5,000 from him and also extorted money from other tricycle drivers.
The Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, who confirmed the incident, said Aremu had been arrested and detained.
He added that the DPO of Isheri Osun had also been issued a query for disobeying the Inspector General of Police’s instruction.
He said, “The police are doing all in our capacity to ensure that the deceased’s children are taken care of. The police corporal involved has been taken into custody. When we complete all necessary disciplinary action, he will be charged to court for murder.
“The team leader and the DPO of Isheri Osun division have also been issued queries for disobeying the IG with regards to policemen performing duties out of uniform, and without a properly-labelled police van.”