One person was feared killed on Thursday while two police vans, alongside other vehicles, were set ablaze at the Lilly Pond Transit Truck Park in Apapa, Lagos when some miscreants and members of the Task Force Team on Environment clashed.
In the melee, it was gathered that a driver in his early 20s died inside the terminal, while a police officer attached to the Lagos State Taskforce, Sergeant Owoeye Olumide, was hit by a stray bullet from the miscreants, as operatives of the agency were seriously attacked with weapons.
The weapons, according to the chairman of the agency, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, who confirmed the incident, included cutlasses, charms, broken bottles and guns.
Egbeyemi, in a statement made available to newsmen by the spokesperson of the agency, Mr Adebayo Taofiq, disclosed that the attack was as a result of the demolition of illegal structures and shanties, which served as a hideout to miscreants around the area.
This was just as he disclosed that 16 miscreants had been arrested in connection with the attack.
Egbeyemi said: “They hide inside these illegal structures and shanties to carry out their nefarious criminal activities on innocent members of the public.
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“One of my police officers, Sergeant Owoeye Olumide, was hit by a bullet in his left thigh from these miscreants, who protested against the demolition of the illegal structures around Lily Pond Road, Apapa.”
According to the task force chairman, the demolition exercise became imperative following complaints of criminal attacks by residents and traders around the area, lamenting that the entire Lily Pond area of Apapa had become an abode for criminal elements who robbed unsuspecting members of the public of their valuables.
Egbeyemi then confirmed that the state Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, had directed that those arrested be charged to court for prosecution.
Meanwhile, the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), in a statement signed by the agency’s spokesman, Adams Jatto, condemned the attacks by hoodlums.
According to the NPA: “The hoodlums, brandishing machetes, daggers and guns, burnt down two NPA operational vehicles, one of which was attached to the Commissioner of Police in the Presidential Task Force on the decongestion of the Apapa traffic.
“During the mayhem, one trucker, unfortunately, was caught in the quagmire and lost his life, while property worth millions were destroyed in the process.
“Against this backdrop, NPA wishes to assure the general public that the situation has been brought under control and calls on all those doing business in the vicinity to go about their businesses without fear of molestation.”