(After publishing our earlier story :”How Civil Defence Men Killed the Police in Lagos” we received a release stating the NSCDC version.It is hereby updated with a report quoting NSCDC which accused the police of killing its men.It is a controversial development and we leave our readers to draw their conclusions)
The Lagos State Command of Nigeria Police Force has given further details about how men of of the National Civil Defence and Security Corps, NSCDC attacked a police anti-pipeline vandalisation team. DSP Ngozi C. Braide ,Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command, said the incident between policemen and civil defence men occurred at Isawo-Ikorodu on Wednesday..
According to the Lagos Police spokesman “At about 0145hrs of date, there was a distress call from DM security PPMC, Mosimi that they were experiencing drop in pressure on the pipeline. The Unit Commander in charge of Konu immediately pulled out his men on Konu axis under Inspr Sunday Gabriel to proceed to the scene.
“As they were approaching, they heard sound of serious gun firing in their area of pipeline coverage and the Inspr instructed his men to proceed to that direction as it could be the activities of vandals. Upon arrival, they saw a group of Civil Defence Corp Members coming out from the direction where the shooting was earlier heard. The NSCDC men challenged the Policemen who were about four in number on what their mission was in the area; “saying that it was their sole responsibility (Civil Defence) to guide and protect pipelines”.
The spokesman continued, “At this juncture there was an argument between the NSCDC and the Police and the most senior NSCDC officer DSC Olufemi ordered his men who were about fourteen (14) in number to disarm, arrest and handcuff the Police team leader and three other members of his team. The NSCDC succeeded in disarming the Police team leader Inspr Sunday Gabriel, handcuffed him, collected his service pistol, walkie-talkie, and Police I.D card. As they were about dragging him into one of their standby hilux vehicles, a phone call was put to the Police Unit Commander reporting the situation. The 3 other officers resisted the arrest and this infuriated Civil Defence Officials who started shooting sporadically to intimidate and subdue the Police officers.
“Before the Police Commander could arrive the scene, the NSCDC officials had taken to their heels abandoning the handcuffed and leg chained Police Inspector with one of NSCDC personnel.
The polices spokesman said , “Therefore, it was shocking that at about 0400hrs, the Civil Defence Corp Commander called the Police Commander Mosimi to say that he lost two of his men and their corpses have been deposited at the hospital. Up till now, the pistol of Inspr Sunday Gabriel who was badly beaten and stabbed by the NSCDC officials including his other accoutrements are still with NSCDC.
Also on Wednesday the police said “Subsequently, far away in Alausa, Ikeja, at about 0800hrs today, the NSCDC officials abducted and assaulted three Policemen namely: Sgt Charles Igiebor, Cpl Ekun Julius and Cpl Okoro Charles who went for National I.D Card registration exercise. They also started attacking Policemen on sight in other parts of the State.
“The Commissioner of Police Lagos State Command immediately went on air to warn Policemen not to engage in any form of confrontation with the NSCDC officials.
The police spokesperson said investigation into the matter has commenced while Lagosians are advised to maintain peace and remain calm.
But an earlier report from NSCDC gave a different version of the event.The report accused the police of being the aggressors. The Nigeria Police ambushed and opened fire on men of the anti-vandal squad of the Lagos State Command of NSCDC, killing two men on the spot while others escaped with gunshot wounds in Ikorodu axis of Lagos State, the report said.
This incident, according to a release by the Corps Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Okeh, occurred at about 3am on Wednesday morning while the officers and men of the corps were returning from a successful anti-vandal operation where vandals were arrested along with their exhibits and being transported back to the state headquarters of the Corps.
Citing an eye witness, the report said ,the vandals made calls to their police collaborators for support as they could not overwhelm the anti-vandals team of the Corps.
“Immediately the Police got wind of the information laid siege for the Corps and opened fire on the NSCDC patrol vehicles killing two while others scampered for their dear lives with gunshot wounds as the vandals were released immediately by the police.”
On seeing that it was the police, the men of the corps refused to fire a single shot from their rifles but could only express sock at a sister agency who ordinarily should assist in fighting crime and other criminality are the ones aiding them while the vandals continue to flourish in crime.” it stated.