The Lagos Police Command on Thursday lost one of its gallant senior officers, during a clash between commercial okada riders and policemen at the Ajao Estate axis of Isolo, Kazeem Sumonu Abonde, a Chief Superintendent of police (CSP)
Saturday Sun learnt that the incident happened when tactical teams of the command comprising men drawn from the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Lagos State Environmental task Force, Ajao Estate Police Division and other divisions were carrying out a raid of identified flashpoints and enforcing the ban on use of motorcycles in restricted areas in the estate and similar places in the state.
According to the state Public Relations Officer, Mr Adekunle Ajisebutu, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), the exercise was a routine proactive approach aimed at curtailing activities of armed robbers and other criminal elements in the state.
“After the successful operations which led to the arrest of some of the suspects, other criminal elements and hoodlums in their large numbers laid siege to the exit of the estate and attacked the policemen with guns, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons.
Unfortunately, during the fatal attack, CSP Kazeem Sumonu Abonde attached to the operation department of the command was brutally killed by the hoodlums.
The DPO, Ajao Estate, CSP Abdullahi Malla and other police officers equally sustained varying degrees of injuries. The corpse of the deceased has been deposited at the hospital.”
Recounting what happened, an eyewitness who introduced himself as Segun told Saturday Sun that the fight started around 5pm when policemen believed to be from the police taskforce started impounding motorcycles from those who flouted the existing traffic laws.
“The affected riders started rioting, brandishing all kinds of weapons. Most of them are all these young boys from the north.
They were throwing stones and sticks before the policemen fled. The one that was killed was not fast enough and they caught him and killed him with the cutlass. The others fled,” he said.
Another witness, who identified herself as Ngozi, claimed she saw them running with a rifle believed to belong to the slain officer.
“I own a shop at Ajao Estate market and I heard the noise and in the next 20 minutes, I saw so many of them carrying two rifles and chanting victory songs. I understand Hausa language, so I heard them very well. It was at that point that I close my shop and ran home.”
Describing the deceased as one of Nigeria’s best, his colleague who spoke with Saturday Sun said he was to retire from service in the next nine months. “I spoke with him few hours before incident, we talked about his plans for his law firm.
He already had opened his own law chambers known as K. S Abonde & co and graduating from Law School. It is quite unfortunate that he was killed like a foul.”
Chairman of Isolo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Otunba Adebayo Olasoju appealed for calm by the law-abiding resident of Ajao Estate and other concerned parties as regards the violence that erupted in the peaceful ward towards the closing hours of Thursday.
“As the Chief Security Officer of the council area, it is expedient to make it clear to all concerned that violence in whatever form cannot solve any misunderstanding and therefor should be eschewed.
Ajao Estate, being a major entry point for especially foreigners coming into our dear nation deserves the serenity obtainable in a city of equal status in advanced countries.
Investigation into both the remote and immediate causes of the violence is being carried out. The law-abiding citizens of Ajao Estate are hereby urged to go about their lawful businesses as there is enough security presence to forestall a resurgence,” the council boss said.
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