THE Lagos State Police have denied reports that operatives killed a 14-year-old beverage seller who died after being hit by a stray bullet during a crackdown on Yoruba Nation protesters in Lagos.
The teenager, identified as Jumoke, was reported to have been killed by a bullet fired by the police while trying to disperse peaceful protesters at the Freedom Park, otherwise known as Gani Fawehinmi Park, in the Ojota area of Lagos.
Jumoke’s remains were wrapped in a cloth after neighbours found her around the venue of the protest.
Police had launched attacks on the protesters, using tear gas canisters and water cannons to disperse the secessionists.
Viral pictures showed the police hounding protesters in an attempt to arrest them.
However, Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command Olumuyiwa Adejobi said the police did not use live bullets against the protesters.
He said the command’s findings showed the deceased must have died before the protest and that she didn’t die from bullet wounds but from a ‘sharp object.’
The police also said the location where neighbours and other sympathizers found the body was far from the protest venue.
“The command did not fire a single live bullet at Ojota rally today. The said corpse was found wrapped and abandoned at a distance, far from Ojota venue of the rally, behind MRS Filling Station, inward Maryland, on the other side of the venue, with dried blood stains suggesting that the corpse is not fresh.
“After a close look at the corpse, a wound suspectedly sustained from a sharp object was seen on it. The news is false and mischievous. The command, therefore, urges the public to disregard the news and go about their lawful normal daily activities while investigation to unravel the incident will commence immediately,” the police spokesman said in a statement.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police Hakeem Odumosu vowed to conduct a thorough investigation into the teenager’s death.
While warning against “peddling of fake news and unconfirmed stories as such could be dangerous and counterproductive in the state,” the police chief commiserated with the deceased’s family.
Meanwhile, video footage shows a woman who claimed that police hit her home with a tear gas canister during the protest.
The woman said her house was far from Freedom Park and that she was at home with her children when the canister exploded in her house.
“They want to kill me. I have young children of five and eight years. Look at teargas thrown into my house all the way from Abiola Garden. I am a Yoruba lady but I did not join any protest, I did not do any rally. Why should they come and kill me silently like this? Look at the teargas and it is even hot. Look at the teargas that was thrown into my house,” she said.