17th December, 2010
When 21-year-old Ismaila Sanni, a generator mechanic, left his abode in company of his friends to watch the explosive premier league match between Arsenal and Manchester United at a viewing centre in Apasa Street, Ajegunle, Ajeromi/Ifelodun local government area of the state, he never knew that death was lurking around the corner.
He was shot dead by a team of policemen from Pako Police Station, Amukoko Division, led by one Akeem who had come to Gracida Hotel to effect an arrest.
The late Ismaila and his friends point of call when they let home was actually Gracida but they ended up at the viewing centre when the management of the hotel did not show the match they intended to watch.
Die-hard fans of Manchester United, the deceased and his colleagues then decided to leave for the viewing centre behind the hotel but unfortunately Ismaila did not live to watch his darling team defeat Arsenal as he was killed by a stray bullet while he was sitting, savouring the explosive encounter.
The police did not only kill Ismaila, two other fans, whose names were given as Biodun and Sango, were also injured by the bullets fired by the police.
P.M.NEWS reliably gathered that the men were shot at the viewing centre while responding to a call allegedly made by the manager of the hotel. The hotel manager was not available for comments when P.M.NEWS paid a visit to the area.
One of the deceased friends identified as Seun Alabi, who was also at the viewing centre, said the police came to the area when the match was going on and started firing indiscriminately.
â€œThe next thing we heard was a gun shot that left Ismaila dead and two others injured,â€ he said.
The death of the youth draw the irk of others in the area and a pandemonium ensured as residents ran helter-skelter to escape being hit by stray bullets.
The following morning, youths in the area trooped out in their hundreds, cordoned off streets to protest the killing of one of their own.
The father of the deceased, Ramoni Sanni, expressed shock at death of Ismaila, who was his last child.
He accused the police of killing his son in cold blood and called on the authorities to bring the killers to book. He also described the late Ismaila as a peaceful man who loved football.
Other residents of the area accused the police of raiding whenever there is a football match going on. The police were also accused of collecting N15,000 from victims of their illegal operations before they are released on bail.
At the Pako Police Station, Okokomaiko, where the murder was reported, the DPO refused to comment, saying he had not been briefed.