The police in Lagos have launched a manhunt for an Assistant Superintendent of Police, identified simply as Mohammed, who allegedly shot dead a tricycle driver, Akeem Aranse, during an argument in the Shasha, Akowonjo area.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Mohammed, who is attached to the Disaster Management Unit of the Department of Operations, Lagos State Police Command headquarters, Ikeja, moved out of his apartment on Unity Close, Egbeda, shortly after the incident.
Our correspondent learnt that Mohammed had boarded a commercial motorcycle (okada) which was hit by the tricyle operator on Kareem Laka Street in the Egbeda area.
It was gathered that the incident led to an argument which degenerated into the killing of the tricycle driver by the ASP.
Eyewitnesses explained that some passersby had tried to settle the skirmish but the police officer remained adamant.
The officer was said to have eventually brought out his pistol and shot the tricycle driver.
Thirty-one-year-old Akeem, who was said to have been shot in the chest, reportedly died on the spot.
Our correspondent learnt that the matter was reported to policemen at the Shasha division.
When PUNCH Metro visited Akeem’s rented apartment on Nusiratu Street, Akowonjo, on Saturday, his tricycle was seen parked outside the house, while friends and neighbours still discussed the incident.
His elder brother, Sulaimon, said Akeem was planning to visit his wife and only child in Ibadan, Oyo State, when he was killed. He added that the death was a shock to the family.
He said, “We had been living together in this house since he was a boy. We both came from our hometown in the Itesiwaju Local Government Area of Oyo State to work in Lagos. He used to visit his family in Ibadan every three weeks. He was planning to go again this weekend when the tragic incident occurred.
“I was at a friend’s place when I was called about the incident. It was very shocking. Akeem did not have a record of street fighting or violence. He was said to have apologised to the police officer, who was not in uniform, but the man still shot him. The police have taken his corpse to a morgue in Yaba.
“The extended family members would be expecting him in Ibadan, but we have told his wife about the incident.”
Our correspondent gathered that the police had gone to the ASP’s house, but all efforts to get him had not yielded any result.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, the Chairman, Tricycle Drivers’ Association in Shasha Akowonjo, Mr. Isiaka Yekini, said the union would work with the police at the State Criminal Investigation Department to get the suspect.
He said, “We have been invited by the SCID to come on Monday (today) for questioning.
“When the incident happened, one of our members trailed the ASP to his apartment on Unity Close. He has, however, fled the house.
“It was at about 6.30pm on that day that I received a phone call that one of our members had been shot dead. It was very shocking.”
It was learnt that motorcycle drivers led a delegation to the Shasha Police Division on Wednesday to protest Akeem’s murder.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the incident, adding that the police were intensifying efforts to arrest the ASP.
He said, “We have identified the policeman, but he has been on the run. We are making efforts to arrest him.
“His action is alien to the police culture. It is not in line with the vision and mission of the Lagos State Police Command.”