2 Civil Defence Officers Killed In Lagos By Police...Complete Story!

2 Civil Defence Officers Killed In Lagos By Police

An anti-vandal squad of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Lagos State Command, was yesterday ambushed by armed policemen attached to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) who opened fire on them, killing two officers, injuring several others and freeing the pipeline vandal they had arrested.

Although authorities of the NSCDC refused to release the names of the two officers who were killed at about 3am along Ikorudu axis yesterday, family sources identified them as Gabriel Adaji, an assistant inspector of the corps (AIC), and Innocent Aigbe, an inspector of the corps (IC).

While Adaji died on the spot, Aigbe was said to have given up the ghost at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) following fatal bullet wounds he received from the policemen.

LEADERSHIP reliably gathered that a police identity card with number 120622, belonging to one Inspector Sunday Gabriel, a pistol and a walkie-talkie believed to have fallen off from the policemen who killed and freed the four arrested vandals, were retrieved from the scene of the attack.

Meanwhile, a source who spoke to LEADERSHIP from the NSCDC national headquarters, who spoke on condition of anonymity, revealed that although the corps’ operatives exhibited maturity by not engaging the police in a bloody fight, they were, however, able to gather useful exhibits from the police, such as the pistol, an ID card and a walkie-talkie, to support their claim that the attack was carried out by the police.

According to the source, “The wounded operatives of the corps have the needed evidence proving that the Wednesday morning attack on them was carried out by men and officers of the Nigeria Police, who under normal circumstances should give us their backing, as the army, navy and other good-hearted sister agencies, who hold the task of redeeming the economy of this great country from the hands of this dreaded saboteurs, do.”

With a tearful voice, the source further said, “As I speak to you now, two of our operatives are lying dead while others narrowly escaped with fatal gunshot wounds. What kind of wickedness is this among security agencies?

How can security agencies tasked with the mandate of securing our nation be this divided? We didn’t think that this kind of thing would have ever happened.”

Eyewitnesses and one of the wounded officers who spoke to LEADERSHIP from Lagos at about 4am yesterday on telephone alleged that the police swung into action in response to a ‘save our soul’ call put across to them by the vandals after they were over-powered by the NSCDC operatives, who had seized their operational materials as exhibits to nail them.

According to the witness, “Immediately the police officers got wind of the information which they feared would have nailed them, they immediately swung into action, laid ambush with their patrol vehicle and fired at the NSCDC operatives at close range without any argument ensuing between them.

After the first deceased slumped on the ground and after others escaped with serious gunshot injuries, the policemen hurriedly freed the arrested vandals and escaped, but some injured Civil Defence men who hid in the bush were brave enough to take some important evidence to nail the police.”

Meanwhile, there was a mild drama at the Lagos State Command of the Civil Defence Corps when the Lagos State commissioner of police allegedly mobilised three trucks, loaded with armed mobile policemen, to invade and retrieve the recovered police pistol, the ID card and the walkie-talkie recovered from the scene of the attack.

They, however, met stiff resistance from the NSCDC operatives, who were later joined by army personnel. They had sent a distress call to the soldiers.

LEADERSHIP learnt at the time of filing this report that the army had barricaded the premises of the NSCDC to forestall   possible further invasion by the police.

When contacted on the matter, the NSCDC public relations officer, Mr. Okeh Emmanuel, confirmed the killing of two  officers.

He said, “Yes it is true that we lost two officers of the Corps but as a law abiding agency, we don’t want to carry out any action that will negate the rule of law. We believe in due process and so we will let the law take its natural course. The NSCDC and the Nigeria Police are both government agencies.”

LEADERSHIP recalls that for some time now, there have been reported cases of clashes of interest, unnecessary bickering and rancour between policemen and officers of the NSCDC, with the police alleging that its functions are being encroached on by the corps, an act it considers an affront and needed to be checked.

Allegation against police baseless – Lagos Police PRO
However, the Lagos State Command has denied the claims of the NSCDC on the incident, describing the allegation as unfounded.

The command, in a statement by its PRO, Miss Ngozi Braide, reads in part: “The Lagos State Command wishes to use this medium to put the record straight on what actually transpired at Isawo-Ikorodu at early hours of today (yesterday) between the NSCDC and the Police.

“At about 0145hours of date, there was a distress call from DM security, PPMC, Mosimi, that they were experiencing a drop in pressure on the pipeline.

The Unit Commander in charge of Konu immediately pulled out his men on Konu axis under Inspector Sunday Gabriel to proceed to the scene.

“As they were approaching, they heard sound of serious gunfire in their area of pipeline coverage and the Inspector 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 Corps 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 guard and protect pipelines.”

According to Braide, it was at this juncture that an argument ensued between the NSCDC and the Police and the most senior NSCDC officer, DSC Olufemi, ordered his men who were about 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 Inspector Sunday Gabriel, handcuffed him, collected his service pistol, walkie-talkie and police ID card,” she stated.

The police spokeswoman further said that it was as the NSCDC officials were about dragging him into one of their standby Hilux vehicles, that a phone call was put to the Police Unit Commander, following which the three other officers resisted the arrest, “and this infuriated Civil Defence officials who started shooting sporadically to intimidate and subdue the police officers”.

Braide said that before the police commander could arrive at the scene, the NSCDC officials had taken to their heels, abandoning the handcuffed and leg-chained police inspector with one of NSCDC personnel.

She said that it came as a shock to the police that at about 4am, the Civil Defence Corps Commander called the police commander, Mosimi, to say that he had lost two of his men and that their corpses had been deposited at the hospital.

She also noted Inspector Gabriel’s  pistol and other accoutrements were are still with the NSCDC.

The police image maker further alleged that in Alausa, Ikeja, at about 8am yesterday, the NSCDC officials abducted and assaulted three policemen, namely Sgt Charles Igiebor, Cpl Ekun Julius and Cpl Okoro Charles, who had gone for National ID Card registration exercise, and that they also started attacking policemen on sight in other parts of the state.

As a reaction to this, she said, the Lagos State commissioner of police immediately went on air to warn policemen not to engage in any form of confrontation with the NSCDC officials, noting that investigation into the matter had commenced. She advised Lagosians to remain calm.
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