Leaders of Okunraye community, one of the villages hosting the Lekki Free Trade Zone, in the Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos State told a Lagos State High Court in Igbosere on Tuesday that the police were responsible for the killing of the Managing Director of the free trade zone, Alhaji Tajudeen Disu
This claim was in an affidavit in support of a Fundamental rights suit filed before a Lagos High Court against the Police, Directorate of State Security (DSS) and Dangote group.
The leaders who condemned the detention of members of their community, alleged that contrary to reports on the incident, Disu was hit from behind by a stray bullet by the Lagos Mobile Policemen which killed him instantly.
The community also sued the Inspector General of Police, Lagos Police Commissioner, Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS), the Nigerian Army and Ibeju Lekki Local Government.
One Alhaji Surajudeen Salami, who deposed to the affidavit recalled that the Lagos State Government, sometime in 2007, forcefully acquired their land from them.
Salami said the people of Okunraye had their homes and native buildings on the land, which was also their source of livelihood.
According to him, Disu was killed on a day the community leaders were to meet with Dangote Group, to discuss job-related issues for eligible community youths in the massive project the company was erecting on their land.
Salami said they had made several attempts to discuss with Dangote management but to no avail, adding that the development forced the youths to barricade the entrance into the project site of Dangote in an attempt to compel the company to discuss with the community.
At about 9am, Salami said he was informed that a large group of mobile policemen had surrounded the entrance to the project and were burning down the barricade as well as other obstruction.
He said he remembered that the policemen stormed the community on the fateful day and started releasing tear-gas and shooting in the air, adding that at the time the shooting was on-going, the Divisional Police Office in charge of the area was at the palace of the Baale of Okunraye to discuss on how the issue could be resolved.
He said people rushed to the Baale’s house to inform him of the commotion taking place. The DPO reportedly left the Baale’s house to see what was going on. Salami said when he got there he saw Mr Disu and implored him to tell the Policemen to stop shooting because they didn’t want to fight, rather they wanted to discuss with the Management of Dangite group but he refused.
“When we were imploring Disu, Alhaji Jegede and the Baale of Igiye Community to stop policemen from shooting because the members of Okunraye community did not want to fight and wanted to discuss with management of Dangote, the police refused to stop shooting and then a stray bullet hit Mr Disu from behind and he died instantly.”
He said the bullet also hit a young woman from the community and she sustained injury on the arm.
Salami, who said he saw the policeman that pulled the trigger that killed Disu, alleged that the policemen stopped shooting when they realised that a stray bullet had killed Disu.