Soldiers deployed for the anti – vandals operation in Festac , Lagos, on Thursday killed a civilian and injured two policemen.
The army personnel attached to Ojo Cantonment, Lagos, who have laid siege around Seventh Avenue, Festac Town, after vicious vandals scared the residents early Tuesday morning, were said to have mistaken the civilian for a thief.
The mishap was orchestrated by some mischievous area boys who alleged that the civilian had robbed a bank customer on Seventh Avenue.
Not knowing that the bank customer was attacked by a two-man gang on a motorcycle who fleeced him of his money, they had shouted that the deceased, who drove a Honda Accord car, was the thief.
Unaware he was being referred to as thief, the deceased reportedly continued his movement until he got to the army road block on Seventh Avenue, where the soldiers opened fire on his car for refusing to stop.
Unfortunately, the bullet killed the man and also hit two policemen attached to the Festac division.
Confirming the development, the Lagos State police command’s spokesman, Joseph Offor, said the incident was an act of omission.
He debunked initial claims that the policemen were dead, adding that they were responding to treatment at the hospital.
“At FESTAC Town, a man was attacked after he had withdrawn money from a commercial bank. As he was leaving the bank with the money, two men on bikes accosted him and made away with the money.
“Some sympathizers alerted the police at FESTAC Division. By the time the police got there, the robbers had fled.
“Somehow, some mischievous guys in the area saw a moving Honda Accord and started shouting that he was the thief.
“Meanwhile, the driver of the Honda did not know he was the one they were talking about and was still moving at his own pace.
“When he got to the checkpoint mounted by the soldiers, who were stationed along Seventh Avenue because of pipeline vandals, he made to drive through.
“But the soldiers thinking that the driver was truly a robber trying to escape, opened fire on the moving vehicle. The bullet hit two of our of men and the civilian.
“Contrary to rumours making the rounds, our men didn’t die. They were injured and they are currently receiving treatment at the hospital,” Offor said.