Lagos Rally: Stray bullet kills girl as Police denies shooting

A 14-year-old girl, simply identified as Jumoke, was on Saturday, reportedly killed by a stray bullet during clash between the security agents and Oodua Republic agitators in Ojota, Lagos.

But the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, denied the report in a statement, saying the Police “did not fire a single live bullet at Ojota rally today”.

A eye witness told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the body of the girl was found in front of No. 428, Ikorodu Road, closed to Ojota Motor Park.

A woman, Miss Tosin Oyemade, who claimed that the deceased was her salesgirl, said that she had sent her to go and open the shop while she (Oyemade) went to the church for an event.

“I asked her this morning to go and open the shop while I went to the church for an event, planning to join her later.

“My cousin called me while in church that the Police had killed Jumoke; I quickly rushed down only to see her dead body in the pool of her blood.

“I was told while the Police were shooting, that people started running towards the compound (No. 428, Ikorodu Road) where Jumoke fell down bleeding,’’ she said.

Another eye witness, one Mr Julius Onaguruwa, told NAN that he was amongst those running into the compound when the girl fell and bleeding from the chest.

Meanwhile, the Police spokesman said in a statement that the Police did not killed the young girl.

“The attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to a news making rounds that a 14-year-old girl was hit and killed by police bullet today July 3 at the venue of the Oodua Republic Mega Rally in Ojota, Lagos.

“The command hereby wishes to debunk the rumour and state categorically that it’s a calculated attempt to create confusion and fears in the minds of the good people of Lagos State and the country at large.

“The command did not fire a single live bullet at Ojota rally today.

“The said corpse was found wrapped and abandoned at a distance, far from Ojota venue of the rally, behind MRS Filling Station, inward Maryland, on the other side of the venue, with dried blood stains suggesting that the corpse is not fresh,’’ Adejobi said.

NAN reports that Oodua Republic agitators came individually to the front of Gani Fawehinmi’s park, moving around with no sign on them as protesters.

While the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, was briefing journalists at the venue, the agitators began to bring out fliers, banners and putting on T-Shirts with Sunday Igboho picture printed on them.

The CP, however, appealed to them to be civil, warning, that the group did not notify the Police on their protest and that, therefore, the rally could not hold.

NAN further observed that while they were becoming stronger and chanting the Oodua Republic songs, the Police started using water canon to disperse them.

Tear gas was also used disperse the gathering crowd, including journalists.

The agitators, comprising men and women ran towards Ikorodu axis for their safety.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed sources closed to the Police said five persons were arrested at the venue and were taken away in RRS vehicle. (NAN)

Newsdiaryonline reports that there was a chain of events prior to the Laos rally which the Ibadan-based Igboho had announced.

In an apparent bid to stop Igboho’s moves, there was a raid on his residence by security forces Thursday morning during which an exchange of fire ensued between Igboho’s men and the security forces. Some weapons , passports and charms were seized by the DSS while Igboho has been declared wanted.

Shortly after the raid, reports said the Lagos rally would be cancelled, but Igbo also countered that claim, insisting the rally would go ahead

On Friday, there were reports of Igboho’s arrest.This was quickly reportedly debunked by Igboho himself who said nobody had arrested him.

For now, the hide-and-seek game between Igbo and the security forces continues.(With reports by NAN)