One policeman was on Tuesday killed during a clash between some men of the Oyo State Police Command and some hoodlums in the Moniya area, Ibadan in the Akinyele Local Government Area of the state.
The deceased cop was said to have been shot dead during the scuffle.
The clash reportedly started with some suspected fraudsters popularly known as ‘Yahoo boys’ before some hoodlums joined them against the policemen.
The incident which happened around King’s College threw the area into panic with residents scampering to safety while passersby and motorists were making a detour so that they won’t be caught up in the crossfire.
An eyewitness, who spoke with PUNCH Metro on the condition of anonymity, said, “Some suspected ‘Yahoo boys’ were in the car when the officers who were on a stop-and-search duty stopped their car.
“They initially stopped but nobody knew what transpired as they suddenly moved the car and shots were fired. A bullet hit the policeman. His colleagues started shooting indiscriminately and this led to the commotion in the area.
“They attempted to arrest the guys but people resisted.”
Another eyewitness said, “Moniya boiled today (Tuesday). One policeman was hit by a stray bullet during their argument with some boys and he died.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Adewale Osifeso, confirmed the incident in a statement made available to journalists.
Osifeso said seven suspects were arrested in connection with the matter while the corpse of the deceased policeman had been deposited at a morgue for post-mortem.
He added that 12 motorcycles were impounded.
The PPRO said, “Preliminary investigation revealed that the patrol team, while acting on credible intelligence through visible policing duties extended their presence around major black spots, highways and major roads under the local government area axis in a bid to deter criminal elements from settling and establishing dominance within the location.
“In furtherance of the above, the team of operatives on patrol led by one Inspector Stanley Ikhine, flagged down an ash Lexus 350 Jeep with a faintly inscribed worn-off number further arousing suspicion from the officers on watch.
“In the process, the vehicle initially slowed down in compliance with the directive before eventually picking up speed and dashing off to evade the officers on duty.”
He said the policemen decided to pursue the vehicle in a bid to ascertain the motive behind the driver’s action.
He added, “A few meters away from the initial stoppage point, the Lexus Jeep veered off the road to a nearby garage, driving directly into the waiting hands of hoodlums who were also collaborators in the criminal process, thereby not only obstructing the officers from discharging their duties but as well aiding the escape of the SUV and its occupants.
“The hoodlums attacked the officers unprovoked and attempted forcefully snatching a rifle from one of the officers which led to a shot being discharged from the barrel during the process of the struggle.
“Sadly, the gallant officer paid the supreme price, suffering a heavy blow to his skull inflicted by one of the hoodlums while preventing them from dispossessing him of his firearm.”