10th June, 2011
The Chief Superintendent of Police and Divisional Police Officer attached to the Badagry Division, Salihu N. Samuel, who was murdered along with his colleagues by aggrieved soldiers in Lagos state will be buried tomorrow.
P.M.NEWS learnt from Elizabeth, wife of the late DPO last night that the corpse would be buried in Sam Tayoâ€™s compound in Badagry, Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, while the committee set up to investigate the situation leading to his death would continue with its work.
The senior police officer was said to have been murdered along with his Divisional Crime Officer, Samson Okedusi and five other policemen who had joined him on an official duty before he was allegedly invited for discussion by the commanding officer of the 242 Recce Battalion at Ibereko, a suburb of Badagry over the killing of a soldier by a police officer.
While on his way to the army barracks, soldiers allegedly from the barracks took revenge on him and his men and burnt the police van in which they came.
Though the military authorities denies responsibility for the killing, one of the survivors of the attack, Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, Afolabi Taofeek, who was the Crime Officer at Badagry Police Station, indicted the soldiers saying they were responsible.
Narrating how the incident happened that fateful day, Taofeek, who was 44 years old, told a national daily before he also died a few days after the attack, that â€œwe were going round to monitor events in our jurisdiction. We had earlier met with the Commanding officer of the Cantonment after we witnessed how some soldiers matcheted a police Inspector at Badagry roundabout.
â€œI was in mufti together with the DCO while the DPO was fully in uniform. When we got close to the gate of Ibereko Military Cantonment, we saw a group of armed soldiers fully in military camouflage.
â€œThey quickly came towards our car and before we knew what was happening, they started releasing volleys of bullets into our car. I also noticed that a senior officer from the cantonment was also among the soldiers at the gate.
â€œThe first person that was hit by their bullet was the DCO. The last word the DCO uttered was â€œthey have shot me.â€ Then the DPO rushed out of the vehicle and started running. The soldiers went after him and caught up with him. They immediately descended on him with machetes. They later shot him at point blank range. Then, I rushed out from the vehicle.
â€œAs soon as I alighted, one of the soldiers accosted and shot me and the bullet pierced through my lungs. I then dived into the bush and crawled far away from them. While I was inside the bush, I noticed that I was bleeding profusely and I reasoned that I might die inside the forest. Then, I decided to crawl out where my corpse would be seen.
â€œAs soon as I crawled into the open space facing the military gate, I saw the Commanding Officer and the Adjutant. They offered to take me to the military hospital with an OP Messa vehicle. I objected telling them to take me to a private hospital. I was afraid soldiers will kill me inside any military hospital. Then they left me bleeding there.
â€œI managed to limp towards a nearby filling station where some people recognised me. They then offered to take me to the hospital.â€
Wife of the slain DPO, Elizabeth, who also spoke with P.M.NEWS on the incident, said her husband was fasting when he was killed.
The woman who hails from Kebbi said she saw her husband a day before he was killed when he came to see his children after a church service at The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, where he had always worshipped.
â€œHe bought some things for his children at Omida Market, Abeokuta. He was giving the children the goods when he received a call from one of his officers at the station.
â€œThe officer told him it was a serious problem which needs urgent attention. He rushed out and bade us goodbye. Unknown to us, it was a goodbye for ever,â€ she said.
The woman lamented the possibility of taking care of the children and the deceasedâ€™s aged parents and called on Governor Babatunde Fashola and the Inspector General of Police to come to her aid.
â€”Eromosele Ebhomele & Dedeigbo Ayodeji