Cele Police Station burnt by hoodlums, who were also butchering and carting away parts of vehicles parked in the station.
PHOTO: GBENGA SALAU
• Cop killed, station looted at Orile
• 10 feared dead as police, hoodlums clash in Mushin
• Hoodlums loot, burn council secretariat at Ajeromi-Ifelodun
Arsonists went on a rampage in Lagos State yesterday as the #EndSARS protests took a violent turn for the second day running. It began when hoodlums threw caution to the winds and set ablaze the building of Orile police station after a policeman had allegedly shot at advancing protesters, killing two.
A policeman who jumped the fence in order to escape being caught in the inferno was said to have landed in the hands of the hoodlums who stabbed him to death.
The modern police station, constructed to the United Nations model, was built by the Babatunde Fashola’s administration in 2012. The hoodlums were said to have invaded the station in their large numbers but were repelled by the few officers that were on duty and locked the gate.
As the protesters retreated, the DPO was said to have hurriedly left the station, abandoning her subordinates to their fate. According to eyewitnesses, the gang immediately regrouped and started hauling the policemen with stones and broken bottles.
They also procured fuel, sprinkled it in the backyard of the building, and lit it with fire. As the fire raged, the hoodlums gathered some empty bottles, filled them with petroleum products, and threw them into the inferno.
It was gathered that the policemen trapped in the building shot severally from inside to disperse the protesters in order to escape but to no avail. The arsonists had a field day as they operated unchallenged.
Thugs looted remnants at the police station after it was set ablaze. They entered into the offices, including the armoury, and carted away all that was left after the inferno had subsided. Some of the un-burnt accouterments such as police uniforms, caps, berets, were worn by the thugs to mimic police officers in action.
Reacting, the Lagos State police spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi, said: “due to the new development of violent attacks on police officers and men and formations in Lagos, and the 24-hour curfew imposed by the state government, the police command has banned protests, gatherings or processions under whatever guise within Lagos State.”
The hoodlums had earlier blocked the road as early as 6:00 a.m. in order to prevent entry into the vicinity of the station located by the Orile bus stop, along the Iganmu axis of the Lagos-Badagry expressway. The hoodlums also turned the protest into a looting spree, as many shops were robbed in the area.
Armed thugs also attacked Pako Police Station in the Amukoko area of Lagos, sacked the policemen, and set the station ablaze. The police station is the third to be set ablaze by hoodlums yesterday after Layeni and Orile-Iganmu police stations. An official of Apapa-Iganmu Local Council Development Area (LCDA), who prefers anonymity, confirmed the incident.
An eyewitness, identified simply as Ifeanyi, said: “The hoodlums initially engaged the policemen and the officers resisted their attacks. Suddenly, we began to see the fire. More policemen were also deployed in the station but before they got here, the boys had already caused damage.”
Hoodlums also set ablaze Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area secretariat in Lagos.
The secretariat is located at Baale Street, Ajegunle. It was learned that some of the guards were injured and have been rushed to the hospital.
More than 20 vehicles owned by staff, who earlier reported for work, were also set ablaze. Many scampered for safety as the protesters stormed the council secretariat with different weapons.
The mob looted the Automated Teller Machine (ATM), council chairman’s office, and council treasurer’s office among other offices. A senior official of the council told newsmen the protesters arrived at the secretariat shortly after razing a police station on Layeni Street.
“They started attacking everybody, injuring the security officials before setting the secretariat ablaze. They looted the chairman’s office, treasurer’s office, and some offices downstairs. The ATM was not spared,” she said.
More carnage scenes were recorded in Mushin as more than 10 persons were feared killed in a clash between the police and hoodlums. Some persons also sustained gunshot injuries during the chaos.
Police officers were seen shooting in a video shared on social media. One of the victims was seen on Agege Motor Road near Olosha drenched in blood.
An eyewitness in Mushin, narrating how the mayhem began, said: “Olosan Police Station blocked the two entrance to the station at Olumorokun and Post Office streets. We were doing our normal protest on the Agege Motor Road just like we did yesterday without any violence when an okada man carrying a passenger passed the road from Post Office without knowing that it had been blocked.
The Olosan police officers stopped the bike man and started beating them and dragging them into the station. The protesters went to plead for their release when the DPO, SP Ayodele Arogbo, a.k.a. Gbakoje, came out and started shooting into the air, asking them to leave.
“The protesters refused and an argument ensued when police released bullets. Everybody scampered into safety. When the dust settled, three guys were already on the floor dead. The people began mobilizing to burn Olosan Police Station and Alakara Police Station.”
The police spokesperson, Adejobi in an update on the crises listed the following police formations that were attacked yesterday in Lagos: “Orile Station (burnt); Layeni Station (burnt); Amukoko (burnt); Cele outpost, under Ijesha Division (burnt); Mushin Division (attacked); Ilembe Hausa Division (attacked); disbanded SARS office at Ajegunle (burnt) and several are still under attacks as of now. But we will repel any further attacks. The number of policemen killed at various locations within the state will be released soon.”