The Lagos State Police Command has accused the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army of peddling falsehood over a clash between some cops and army personnel last week.
THE WITNESS had reported that Inspector Monday Orukpe attached to Ojo Division of Lagos Police Command was beaten to death by aggrieved soldiers last week.
The officer and his colleagues were attacked by soldiers while controlling traffic on the Trade Fair section of the ever-busy Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
The soldiers, who were reportedly returning from a course, got infuriated when traffic on their lane was stopped to allow other road users easy passage.
The incident had created tension in the state, but an army delegation led by Brigadier-General KN Nwoko paid a condolence visit to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, CP Abiodun Ablabi, last week.
However, on Wednesday, Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Benjamin Hundeyin, issued a statement in which he accused the army of attempting to twist what transpired.
He said in as much as the Lagos State Police Command was in a grieving mood and had decided to toe the line of civility, it would not accept misinformation.
He said, “The attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to a report credited to Major General Umar Musa, outgoing GOC 81 Division, claiming that a ‘police officer shot at the soldier during the altercation which clipped him in the ear but narrowly missed his vital parts.’
“The fact remains that on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, at the Trade Fair area of Lagos State, about thirty Privates of the Nigerian Army attacked five policemen for stopping vehicles along their lane to pave way for a heavy duty truck joining the expressway. After the soldiers had brutalized the ASP leading the team, taken out his magazine, and abducted two Inspectors with their rifles, the next Inspector they attempted to attack fired a single shot into the air – an act that made the soldiers retreat.
“The single shot was into the air. At no point was anyone hit. The Lagos State Police Command challenges the Army authorities to present the soldier allegedly shot. While we mourn our fallen hero, and pray for the total recovery of the second abducted Inspector, we urge Nigerians to disregard the claim that a soldier was shot as there is absolutely no truth to it.”
Hundeyin added that the Lagos Police Command was awaiting the report of the panel of inquiry set up by the Nigerian Army to investigate the immediate and remote cause of the incident.
The PPRO also asked the army to fish out the soldiers behind the torture and murder of the deceased officer, and return “the two AK47 rifles and three magazines carted away by the soldiers”.