The Lagos State Police Command has commenced investigations into the murder of a 40-year-old man, Adebola Omowole, who was allegedly stabbed to death by soldiers at the Jakande, Ajah area of the state.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the deceased had gone to watch a football match at a relaxation spot known as a bar, where he had a disagreement with some attendants at the bar.
It was alleged that as he was leaving the area, some soldiers who had been employed to guard the bar walked up to him and stabbed him repeatedly.
Our correspondent, who visited the family home of the deceased at Jakande Estate, observed as sympathisers came in to visit the mother and siblings of the deceased.
Adebola’s elder brother, Adebusola Omowole, told PUNCH Metro that this was not the first time that soldiers would be killing in the locale.
He said, “Around 10pm on Friday, September 27, 2013, I received a telephone call from one of my brothers, Rotimi, informing me that Adebola had been stabbed and had been rushed to an hospital.
“He had been stabbed in the stomach and his intestines were exposed so he was given first aid and transferred to Lagos Island General Hospital due to the severity of the case. We were told that Adebola would need blood, so we bought.”
Adebusola said his brother died after waiting for five hours for a doctor to arrive.
Adebusola said the family reported the matter to the Ilasan Police Division.
He said, “We conducted our own investigations and we were told by eyewitnesses that he (Adebola) had gone to watch a football match at a bar on Lekki Beach Road, but on his way out, he mistakenly stepped on the television wire and the TV went off but he connected it back.
“The attendants however challenged him and a fight ensued. People, however, intervened and my brother left the place. However, as he was leaving the area, some soldiers, who usually guard the place chased my brother and stabbed him from behind.
“The soldiers were in uniform and they used a dagger to stab my brother many times.”
Our correspondent learnt that the soldiers fled after stabbing the victim.
It was gathered that on hearing of Adebola’s demise, many youths in the area demanded that the soldiers be handed over to them.
It was learnt that one of the soldiers and the owner of the bar had been arrested by the police.
The soldier, Lateef Oriyomi, told policemen at Ilasan station that he was attached to 65 Battalion, Bonny Camp, Victoria Island.
A life guard at the beach, who spoke to PUNCH Metro on the condition of anonymity, said the soldiers were known for their high-handedness in the area.
He said, “After Kuramo Beach was affected by the ocean surge, many of the inhabitants as well as the sex workers migrated to Lekki Beach and formed a community known as new Kuramo.
“The soldiers usually come here to oppress us. They buy drinks and refuse to pay. They have been doing many things here and getting away with it.
“This time around, we will make sure that they are dealt with. The army authorities need to check the excesses of their men. What are they even doing among civilians when they are supposed to be on duty?”
Adebusola however called on the police authorities to ensure that the matter was not swept under the carpet.
He said, “My brother was not a trouble maker. He was a life guard at the beach and had a daughter. Our 65-year-old mother, Modupe, has been inconsolable since the incident occurred. What we want now is justice.”
Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Damasus Ozoani, said the matter had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, for further investigation.
When contacted on the telephone, the Public Relations Officer, Nigerian Army 81 Division, Colonel Kingsley Umoh, told our correspondent that he would call back.