Pandemonium broke out, yesterday, in Idi-Araba area of Lagos, after hoodlums attacked a team of policemen that came to effect the arrest of commercial motorcyclists (Okada), leaving some of them wounded.
The Police van would have reportedly been set ablaze but for the timely arrival of reinforcement from Area ‘D’ Command, Mushin.
This is just as a 28-year-old Man ‘O War official was arrested by the Lagos State Police Command for impersonating a Police Corporal.
The suspect was said to have chewed and swallowed the fake police identity card found on him in a bid to avoid arrest.
Eyewitnesses said trouble started at Idi-Araba after a team of policemen from Itire division stormed a park close to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and seized some commercial motorcycles.
They said pleas and explanations by the commercial motorcyclists that the area was not among the designated areas of restriction by the state government fell on deaf ears.
Out of frustration, some of them reportedly attempted to seize their motorbikes, an action that led to an altercation that degenerated into a fight.
Beating up policemen
An eyewitness said: “A group of persons from nowhere came and descended on the policemen. Two of the policemen were beaten to a state of coma.
“When police reinforcement came, the protesters unleashed terror on them and they fled. They were later overpowered by another reinforcement that came in patrol vans from different stations under Area ‘D’ Command.
“They shot sporadically into the air. In the process a male passer-by was hit by stray bullet and was immediately rushed to the hospital.”
When Vanguard visited the scene at 4p.m., normalcy had returned. But policemen were patrolling the scene.
Meanwhile, the suspect arrested for impersonating a Police Corporal said he got the police badge and ranks from a beer parlour.
The suspect, who identified himself as Ben Okon, said: “I am a member of Man ‘O War and my original uniform was given to me by my boss. But the police badge and rank fell from a policeman’s who was in a beer parlour.
“After she left, I picked the polythene bag, thinking it contained money, only to find her badge.”
The suspect, according to Deputy spokes person for Lagos State Police Command, Damasus Ozoani, would be charged to court soon.