Three persons were shot dead yesterday during a shootout between hoodlums and some officers attached to the Federal Operations Zone A, Ikeja, at White Sand community in Lagos State.
A victim from the shootout
Hoodlums and some Nigerian Customs Service officers attached to the Federal Operations Zone A in the Ikeja, reportedly clashed at White Sand community in Ijora Badia area of Lagos State yesterday as three persons were shot dead while a Customs officer and others sustained gunshot injuries during the fierce shootout.
According to a report on Vanguard, trouble started on Monday, following a clash between Hausa and Yoruba residents over accusation by the latter that the former had been terrorising the area.
Tajudeen Shamsudeen who is a resident of the area, explained that a boy, identified as Ojo, said to be on his way home, was allegedly stabbed to death by some Hausa boys.
“For long, these Hausa boys have been attacking people here. They waylay people, dispose them of cash and belongings. Even rulers of both ethnic groups are aware of the issue,” Shamsudeen said.
The attack on Ojo however sparked a riot during which dangerous weapons were freely used by both parties, as if not for the timely arrival of policemen from Ijora Badia, the situation would have assumed a violent dimension.
Acting on the order of the Lagos state government, demolition of shanties in the troubled community started yesterday morning, as the Hausas alleged that the demolition was carried out in their places of abode only.
While the demolition was ongoing, some Custom officers, who residents alleged were invited by the Seriki Hausa, stormed the community in three patrol vehicles at about 2.30p.m. They were alleged to have fired sporadically to scare off some hoodlums, who were roaming the area.
The hoodlums were said to have resisted the Customs men, who allegedly attempted to stop the demolition, an action that led to a shootout, during which three persons were felled by bullets, while one of the bullets from the hoodlums hit a Customs officer. The Customs men then fled the scene.
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmus, said only one person died, while two others are recuperating in the hospital.
“The community and the police were on a joint operation of raiding black spots within the community and arresting suspected criminals yesterday.
“In the process, some officers of the Nigerian Customs Service officers, who were with officials of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, had an encounter with some of the hoodlums.
“They fired some shots and three people were hit. As a result, one death was recorded, while two others are receiving treatment in the hospital. Policemen are not involved.”