Two commercial motorcycle riders suspected to have participated in the lynching of a zonal commander, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Olatunji Bakare, have been arrested by the police.
The suspects – Abubakar Ibrahim, 25; and 23-year-old Usman Ahmad– were paraded at the state police command headquarters in Ikeja on Thursday.
A mob in the Liverpool area of Apapa had killed the commander on December 15, 2016, in retaliation for the death of a motor boy, who was allegedly hit by a LASTMA van.
Bakare, who led his men to the area to arrest erring motorists, was stoned until he gave up the ghost.
After a video which revealed the dastardly act went viral, the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, petitioned the state police command to fish out the perpetrators.
The Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, who paraded the two suspects, said the police were on the trail of others involved in the killing.
He said, “Having analysed the video very well, two suspects, who have been identified positively, having matched the recording with their faces, have been apprehended. We will use them to get to others that took part in the gory act.
“We will do everything that needs to be done in terms of subjecting the report to forensic interpretation to ensure that innocent people are not made to suffer.”
However, the two suspects denied complicity in Bakare’s killing, claiming they were framed by the police.
Ibrahim, who hails from Adamawa State, said, “I was arrested in a school in Apapa, where I was relaxing because my motorcycle was faulty that day.
“Some policemen had arrested an okada (motorcycle) rider for an offence. Other riders tried to collect the motorcycle from the policemen.
“Initially, I was accused of being among those who stoned the policemen. Later, they said I was involved in the killing of the LASTMA officer. But I didn’t go to where the officer was killed that day. I have paid N20,000 to secure my bail and my motorcycle is with the police.”
The other suspect, Ahmad, an indigene of Borno State, said he had taken a man injured in an accident on Liverpool Bridge to a hospital in the Apapa area when he was arrested.
“The police picked me at the hospital with my motorcycle and said I was among those who stoned the LASTMA officer. They collected the N9,500 on me and seized my motorcycle,” he added.
Also paraded by the command were 84 illegal migrants, who were intercepted at the Seme border while allegedly trying to enter into Nigeria.
The immigrants, including citizens of Burkina Faso, Benin Republic and Togo, were arrested between January 9 and 11, 2017, by a combined team of operatives of the command and men of Federal Patrol Unit from the Force headquarters.
“They were apprehended while they were being moved into some vehicles from the waterways.
“This is part of our effort to ensure that criminal elements do not infiltrate Lagos and Nigeria at large. They will be transferred to the Nigerian Immigration Service for further actions,” Owoseni added.