Police Kill Resident at Makoko Waterfront, Arrest 12 Others

Posted: July 22, 2012 in General

Tragedy struck today at the Makoko waterfront, which is currently under demolition by the Lagos State Government, as a police corporal shot and killed one of the residents who were appealing for more time to pack their properties before the demolition of their homes.

The victim, identified as Timothy Azinpono, was said to be advising protesting residents on how to conduct themselves during a planned peaceful protest before the police corporal aimed and shot at him.

A witness, Mr. Opaloba, who was present during the incident, said children of the affected residents, mainly secondary school students, were peacefully showing placards at a considerable distance from the police and Kick Against Indiscipline [KAI] officials present during the demolition hour but that the rash corporal turned his gun on Mr. Azinpono.

The trigger happy policeman, Corporal, Pepple Boma, who is attached to the Marine Police Station, Oworonshoki, allegedly aimed his weapon at other protesters but was stopped by his colleagues.

Mr. Opaloba told SaharaReporters this afternoon: “People were only showing placards over there without moving close to anybody. Our placards are mainly inscriptions of plea that they should allow us more time to find another settlement but suddenly, the policeman just shot at one of us and after Timothy was down, he faced the nuzzle at another man. So, the rest of us scattered.”

Community chiefs on the lagoon also told SaharaReporters that the policeman attempted to escape but that his canoe was halted by the youths residing on the lagoon.

Mr. Azinpono was said to have been breathing after the shooting, bur CorpoeL Boma’s attempt to escape and the subsequent efforts to stop him may have proved fatal. At about 3.20pm, he was confirmed dead at the Lagos State Teaching Hospital [LASUTH], Ikeja.

In addition to the killing of one resident, twelve others were also arrested by the Lagos State Waterfront and Infrastructural Development in a joint military effort with the KAI officials in Lagos.

The General Secretary of the Egun Community on lagoon, Makoko, Mr. John Mautin confirmed to SaharaReporters the arrest of four women, seven men and one infant.

When contacted by telephone, one of those arrested, who was seized as early as 10.30am, was unsure where they were being held.  He told SaharaReporters they were taken in a Black Maria van and driven all around Lagos without any stop point.  No effort has been made at legal prosecution, either.  

Mr. Mautin confirmed that Corporal Boma was taken to the homicide section of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, for further investigations.

As of the time of this report, the 12 residents arrested for protesting on the Makoko lagoon this morning had not been released.  No information was available as to what the officials of KAI and the LagosState Government will be doing with them.

Timothy Azimpono
By SaharaReporters, New York

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