Bamidele Ajala, a banker, has alleged that officials of the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Enforcement Unit (task force) shot him for protesting against a commercial bus driver who damaged his car.
Speaking in an interview, Ajala, Branch Manager with Wema Bank, said the task officials shot his hand after he pursued them fleeing with the unidentified bus driver around Oshodi, inward the Airport Road last Tuesday.
Narrating his ordeal, the banker explained that the driver bashed one of his back doors, who then claimed that he lost control of the vehicle when some area boys working with the task force officials dragged steering with him to force him to stop.
The 39-year-old said he wanted to take the driver to a police station to report the case, but the task force officials insisted that they would do so themselves.
He, however, said he discovered that the task force officials diverted and attempted to flee with the driver, and he subsequently drove his car and pursued them in an attempt to catch up with them.
“The driver said the area boys usually worked with the task force officials to track down drivers and that it was when they were dragging his steering with him and pepper-sprayed his face that he rammed into my car,” Ajala told the Punch.
“I told the driver that somebody has to be responsible for the damage to my car. The area boys wore mufti and I held the driver because the damage to my car was too much.
“So, the real task force officials came, asked why I held the driver’s trousers and I told them that I wanted to take him to the police station to make an entry of the accident.
“The task force officials said they would handle it and I handed over the driver to them. The officials called the area boys to drive the commercial bus and the driver away, but when I realised that they were trying to escape with the driver, I ran into my car and caught up with them.”
According to Ajala, after he managed to catch up with the officials, he protested against while they were diverting from the police station area and moving away with the driver.
When asked where they were taking the driver to, the banker said one of the task force officials shot his right hand and the tyres of his vehicles.
He said: “I said the driver needed to fix my car, but one of the task force officials slapped my face; my mouth peeled and I started bleeding. The task force official also went toward my car and used his AK-47 to shoot the two tyres on the passenger’s side.
“At this point, a mob had gathered and in a bid to disperse them, he started shooting and one of the bullets hit my upper left hand. He did all these to prevent me from double-crossing them as I did when they were escaping with the driver and the bus.
“My shirts and inner wears were soaked with blood after being shot, but people rushed me to the Kupa Hospital on Ajao Estate, from where I was referred to the Airforce Hospital in Ikeja for further treatment.”
Ajala insisted on demanding justice, saying that the officials protected the bus driver to prevent him from making a report that would indict them.
“I want justice. The task force officials knew if I was able to take the commercial driver to the station, he would mention their names,” he said.
But reacting, Raheem Gbadeyinka, a spokesperson for the task force, told the newspaper that the task force did not operate in the area on the day of the incident.
“Not all policemen are part of the task force; there are some people who parade themselves as task force officials, but they are not.
“Regarding his case, it has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt that the policemen are actually task force men,” he said.