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16 May 2018

Policeman that led land grabbers agency to Makoko lands in trouble

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, on Tuesday said the command had suspended the officer in charge of the policemen that accompanied officials of the Lagos State Special Task Force on Land Grabbers to Ori Oke community in Makoko, Yaba.

PUNCH Metro on May 11 had reported that armed policemen and officials of the Lagos State Special Task Force on Land Grabbers clashed with some youths in the neighbourhood during which two residents were killed.

The deceased – Kola Iwalokun and Emola Julius – were allegedly shot dead by the policemen, while many others reportedly sustained gunshot injuries during the incident.

Speaking at a press briefing, Imohimi said other policemen who accompanied the task force officials had been invited to the command for interrogation.

“I know that Lagosians and Nigerians are awaiting updates on the happening at Makoko where it was alleged that a particular unit of the Ministry of Justice, accompanied by policemen, invaded a church and in the process of carrying out their duty, there was fracas and three casualties were recorded.

“Let me set the record straight. On May 10, 2018, around 2.15pm, men of the Lagos State Task Force on Land Grabbers, assisted by officers of the Nigeria Police Force attached to the task force went on an assignment to a community in Ilaje, Makoko, Yaba, based on a report bordering on land grabbing.

“However, while at the location that houses a church, there was a big fracas and it resulted from the fact that some unknown persons attacked the officials of the land grabbing unit and the police.

“The police were forced to defend themselves. But based on new evidence that has emerged from petitions written by members of the church and a lawyer acting on behalf of the church, I have ordered an in-depth investigation into the entire incident.

“As a first step, the head of the police unit that gave the policemen to the officials of the task force on land grabbing, who incidentally is the officer-in-charge of one of our anti-kidnapping units, has been relieved of his appointment for now to make way for an impartial investigation.

“All the policemen who accompanied this unit from the land grabber’s team have all been brought down to the state headquarters for proper interrogation,” Imohimi said.

 The police commissioner said anybody found guilty of misusing authority or firearms would be dealt with.

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