Cleaner killed by stray bullet in SARS, robbers clash

A stray bullet has killed a cleaner identified as Francis during a gun duel between suspected armed robbers and operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Ilupeju, Odiolowo Ojuwoye local council development area of Lagos State.

Eyewitnesses had accused the SARS operatives of being responsible for the death of Francis at about 7:30 a.m. in Ladipo, near Ajisegiri Street, Ilupeju. The deceased was said to be going about his routine business when the bullet hit and killed him on the spot.

Also affected were passersby, residents, and students of Christ Central School, Ajenifuja following the police raid on the notorious den. For nearly an hour, pupils affected by the teargas released by the police were kept in isolation for kerosene cleansing of the affected eyes.

Journalists and human rights activists who were mobilized to the scene were not spared the teargas while a detachment of policemen was deployed to disperse the aggrieved crowd gathering to ensure justice was done. They were all chased away from the scene.

It was gathered that the police had taken an alleged notorious suspect, Ikechukwu Monye, 39, to the neighbourhood for identification of his gang’s armoury but they were attacked by alleged members of his syndicate in a bid to scuttle the operation.

It would be recalled that Ilupeju has experienced violent cult clashes, especially between rival groups, Eiye and Aiye lately that have left no fewer than six persons dead. There have also been allegations of armed robbery, rape, and extortion by hoodlums operating in the area, which had extended its activities to Onipanu and Mushin.

Reacting to the incident, the police said the hoodlums released gunshots upon sighting the SARS team and killed the cleaner in the process. A statement by the police spokesman, DSP Bala Elkana, said the assailants shot sporadically and in the process killed a middle-aged man who was passing by.

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