Pandemonium in Lagos as stray bullet kills pregnant woman

THERE was pandemonium on Saturday in the Ijegun area of Lagos State, as a pregnant woman was killed by a stray bullet during exchange of gun shot between policemen from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and suspected kidnappers.

The woman, identified as Busayo, was reportedly sitting in her shop sewing clothes, when she was hit by stray bullets from the police, who were on the trail of some suspected hoodlums.

Four policemen, including an Assistant Superintendent of Police, who was the leader of the police team, were injured by a mob who protested the killing.

It took the intervention of millitary police, popularly known as the OPMESA,  and the traditional ruler of Ijegun to save the policemen from the mob.

The image-maker in charge of the state police command, Bala Elkana, confirmed the death of the woman and added that the state Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, has ordered investigation into the incident.

The Lagos police spokesperson also said that the  woman was hit by stray bullets during an exchange of gunfire between policemen and suspected kidnappers .

A resident of Ijegun, who described the incident as  ‘tension-filled,’ said that the angry boys were determined to kill the policemen, but for the timely intervention of the traditional ruler and the military police.

The resident, who gave his name as Bankole, told Sunday Tribune that “the woman was in her shop, when the SARS operatives were chasing some boys and they killed the woman in the process.”

He also said that “after they realised that the woman was dead, they attempted to run away but the area boys mobilised and attacked them.

“One of them was injured and three others escaped to the palace of traditional ruler, but the angry boys insisted on killing the policemen, until soldiers were invited.”

The police, in a statement, said: “A team of policemen from the anti-kidnapping unit attached to Area M Command Idimu tracked some kidnapping suspects to Ijegun – Isolo road, Ijegun bus-stop, but came under attack by members of the deadly gang.

“During gun firing, a stray bullet hit  Busayo Owoodun. The gang, with the support of some notorious cultists in the area, attacked the police team and injured the  team leader, ASP Victor Ugbegun and two others who are currently in critical condition at the intensive care unit.

“Reinforcements from Operations Department, Rapid Response Squads, Task Force, and neighbouring divisions were able to contain the situation and evacuate the injured officers to the hospital. The command has launched a manhunt of the assailants with a view to bringing them to justice. The body of the victim of the stray bullet was taken to hospital for autopsy,” the statement said.