Motorists and youths blocked the Igando end of the Lagos State University-Iyana Iba Road on Monday to protest against the alleged killing of a commercial driver, identified as Muyiwa Ijaduola, by a female police corporal attached to the Igando Police Division.
The protesters, who burnt tyres and planks at about 11am, blocked the road with three buses, demanding that the police should arrest the female corporal, identified only as Taiwo, and release Ijaduola’s corpse to his family members.
PUNCH Metro learnt that on Sunday around 2.30pm, Taiwo and another female corporal were in front of a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation filling station in the Igando area, checking vehicles.
Our correspondent gathered that 46-year-old Ijaduola was stopped by Taiwo.
It was learnt that the corporal allegedly demanded N500 from the driver who offered N300.
Our correspondent was told that an altercation had ensued during which the corporal allegedly pushed the driver into a gutter.
Ijaduola, a father of three, was said to have hit his head against the edge of the gutter.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the policewomen immediately fled the area, after which other motorists came to help the driver from the gutter and discovered that he was dead.
Angry youths thereafter reportedly stormed the Igando division around 6.30pm, but they were dispersed by gunshots, while Ijaduola’s corpse was deposited by the police in a morgue.
Our correspondent learnt that the protest resumed around 9am on Monday.
A commercial driver, who identified himself only as Adewumi, told PUNCH Metro that when Ijaduola was brought out of the gutter, a sum of N300 was still found in his hand.
He said, “He was on his way to Isheri when he was stopped in front of the NNPC filling station by the policewomen. It was five minutes after she pushed him into the gutter that I arrived. I met the corpse. Nobody attended to him. The policewomen had gone. He begged the woman to collect N300, but the corporal insisted on N500.
“That was how they argued with each other and she pushed him into the gutter. When we brought him out, his fist was closed. When we opened it, we found a sum of N300.
“The DPO later came with his men to the scene and took Ijaduola’s corpse to a morgue. Around 6.30pm, some youths went to the station to protest, but policemen came to disperse them with gunshots.”
A trader at the junction, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said sympathisers removed Ijaduola’s phone from his pocket to reach out to his family members.
She said, “The policewoman and the driver struggled before the man fell into the gutter. I saw the policewomen as they left. It is unfortunate because the policewomen did not even check him before they fled the scene.”
Ijaduola’s elder sister, Lola Oluranti, said the police at Igando had yet to disclose to the family members where they deposited the corpse, calling on the police authorities to investigate the incident.
She said, “I got a call on Sunday around 5pm. They initially said he had an accident. When I came to the scene, I learnt that he was pushed to his death by a policewoman.
“The police told us on Sunday that they took his remains to a morgue in Isolo. On Monday, they told us it was a morgue in Yaba. Now, they just informed me it is a morgue in Ikorodu.”
A policeman, however, told our correspondent that Ijaduola was epileptic, and died from the condition.
He said, “The man had epilepsy. The autopsy would confirm this. He was not killed by any corporal. His corpse is in a morgue in Yaba. His family members are threatening to injure any policeman that goes with them to the morgue. That is why we have not yet taken them there.”
The Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Damasus Ozoani, said Ijaduola fell into the gutter after an epileptic seizure.
He said, “It was a case of sudden and unnatural death. The driver was suspected to have an epileptic attack at the bus stop while calling passengers into his bus. He consequently fell into the gutter. Two policewomen on traffic duty called sympathisers to help him out, but angry miscreants blocked the road, alleging that the policewomen killed the driver.
“Police patrol teams from Igando dispersed the miscreants and rushed the victim to a hospital where he was confirmed dead.