Policemen who trailed some suspected robbers to their alleged hideout in Ilaje community, in the Ilaje-Ajah area of Lagos State on Monday caused confusion after stray bullets from their guns killed a 33-year-old man, Orimisan Emmanuel.
Orimisan, an apprentice, was said to have been hit by stray bullets from policemen, who were reportedly attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Panti.
It was learnt that the policemen, before heading for the community, had contacted the Ajah Police Division, Ajiwe, to inform the division about their operation in the area.
Our correspondent learnt that at about 3pm, the policemen, who came in a van, stormed the community, and started shooting sporadically.
It was gathered that Orimisan, who was in one of the buildings in the community, came out and was hit by some stray bullets. He reportedly died instantly.
The policemen, who were said to have fled the area, reportedly took the man's corpse with them.
Our correspondent learnt that the incident led to a protest in the area, as the people expressed their anger at the actions of the policemen.
One of the residents, identified only as Lukman, said, ?At about 2.30pm, we saw SARS operatives. They were about eight men. They came in here and began to shoot.
?That was when their bullets hit one of our people. When they realised he was dead, they took his corpse and left. The man was sleeping in his house. The whole town is boiling presently. He is neither a robber nor a cultist. People were shocked when they learnt that he had been killed by the policemen.?
Another resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity said, ?The policemen had come to make an arrest in the area. They first register the matter at the Ajah Police Division, Ajiwe. The policemen got some information, and traced hoodlums to the area. But the anger is why was this guy killed??
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, the deceased?s elder brother, Adeogo Emmanuel, said Orimisan had been awaken from sleep by the sporadic gunshots, and as he came out to see what was happening, the bullet hit him.
Adeogo added that they lost their father just last year, saying his brother was neither a robber nor a cultist.
He said, ?He is my younger brother. He is not married yet. Our father died last year, while our mother has remarried and lives in Ondo State. They shot my brother and also took away his corpse. He had been staying with me. He was not a violent man. That is why the whole area is fighting this cause with us.
?He was sleeping when he heard the gunshots and rose from his sleep. That was how he was hit. We have not even found his corpse now.?
Our correspondent learnt that the deceased?s family members and other community people had mobilised to report the incident at the Area J Command, Ajah, on Monday evening.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed that SARS operatives from the State Department of Criminal Investigation came to the area, but added that there was no death.
He said, ?The information I have is that SARS operatives from the SDCI went to the area, and arrested a robbery suspect. We do not have any record of death or injury.?