Some officers of the Nigerian Customs Service have allegedly shot dead a suspected burglar in the Ikeja area of Lagos State after residents raised the alarm that a burglar had sneaked into some houses.
The suspected burglar
There was pandemonium over the weekend after a 32-year-old suspected burglar identified as Sunday Joseph, was allegedly shot dead by some officers of the Nigerian Customs Service in the Ikeja area of Lagos State.
It was learnt that the customs men who had lodged in a hotel on Anike Apena Street, off Unity Road in the area, allegedly shot Joseph after residents raised the alarm that a burglar had sneaked into some houses.
According to Punch Metro, Joseph had stolen a mobile phone when the customs men shot him in the leg and thigh, after which he died.
The incident, which occurred on Friday at about 6:00am was also reported at the Ikeja Police Division, and policemen came to evacuate the corpse.
It was learnt that the 32-year-old burglar was killed on the premises of a church identified as Word of Prophetic Ministry, after he allegedly entered the street around 3am, as residents of the building beside the church had raised the alarm, forcing Joseph to jump onto the church’s roof after stealing a phone from a resident.
It was said that as he was being chased by a resident, the suspect reportedly scaled the fence of the church to another building bordering the hotel, where the customs officers had lodged.
An eye witness who identified himself only as Israel, told a correspondent that by the time the officers came out of the hotel, Joseph had jumped back on the roof of the church, adding that he wanted to flee when one of the customs officers shot him in the leg.
He said, “They (the customs officers) beckoned to him and he came down onto a fence between the church and the building next to it. He wanted to flee from there when one of the officers shot him and he died on the spot.”
A trader on the street, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the customs men had chased the deceased, trying to arrest him, before he was shot in the leg.
She said, “It was when I got to the shop the following day that I learnt about the incident. I learnt the officers initially pursued him from one side of the roof to the other before one of them shot him in the leg.”
Prophet Olaniyi Odutayo, the pastor of the church, said he had just finished praying around 6am when he heard the commotion, adding that the resident, whose phone was stolen, recovered it from the deceased’s pocket after he had been shot, adding that the incident was reported at the Area F Command in Ikeja.
He said, “I was in my office around 6am. I just finished a vigil. I heard shouts of ole (thief!) and came to the main building. I met three persons in the church’s compound. He jumped to the next building and people there also shouted thief. He jumped back on the roof of the church, looking for an escape route.
“Three customs officers, who lodged in a hotel around here, asked him to come down. As he came down from the roof of the administrative block of the church, he was shot in the leg because he attempted to run away.”
SP Dolado Badmos, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, said the suspect was shot dead by customs officers, adding that investigation was ongoing on the incident.
She said, “The customs men had yet to be identified, but we have recovered the corpse and deposited it in a morgue. Investigation is still ongoing on the matter.”