Call it a smack of unprofessionalism coupled with deliberate act not to ask questions before jumping into hasty conclusion, was again, played out on Monday as some policemen with boys in civil dress descended on some despatch riders under the bridge at Ikeja, by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and unleashed anger and fury on them, beating some to stupor and arrested others.
While some beat the riders with baton, iron, sticks and other harmful things, few other policemen shot canister tear gas, making people to scamper for safety while some bikes were damaged in the process.
It was learnt that confusion sit in when a Range Rover SUV Jeep hit a despatch rider at Yaba and fled after the victim sustained serious injuries. As a result, the fleeing driver was pursued by his colleagues before they caught up with him at Ikeja.
According to a witness identified as Kolawole Komolafe, one of the riders, explained that the rider earlier had mistakenly hit and broke the rear light of the Range Rover SUV, blue in colour with registration number: LSR 810 FU.
Instead of the car owner to demand for a repair or compensation, he was said to have used his car the hit the despatch rider and fell to the ground, leading to serious bruises on his right hand and back.
“Immediately, when he saw the seriousness of his injury, he jumped into his car and zoomed off which prompted other riders to give him a protracted chase uptil Ikeja where they succeeded in blocking him.
In the melee, however, the car owner was compelled to take the victim to the hospital for treatment due to the severity of injury sustained. He later agreed while the bike was taken into the boot of his vehicle, the injured rider sat in the car, ostensibly to take him to hospital for medical care.
“Surprisingly, he again sped past both hospital and pharmacy where he could have been treated. Sensing that he wanted to run away despite the injured rider being in his car, other riders had to chase him once again and blocked him under Bridge, very close to General Hospital, Ikeja and prevented him from moving further.
Some policemen and LASTMA Officers who were under the bridge on sensing the unfolding squabble had to intervene. Unfortunately, just as they were doing that peacefully, a police patrol vehicle, Vanagon bus painted with police colour with an inscription: Police, Ikeja Division suddenly appeared with policemen from under the bridge and they started shooting tear gas without bothering to ask what had transpired.
It was learnt that some guys in mufty who were with the police officers jumped at the riders and started beating and hitting them with big sticks, rods, baseball bat and other things.
In the process, some of the riders were arrested with some bikes broken by the police officers and the boys.
Sadly, it was gathered that some of the policemen who carried out this act never bothered to ask any question before engaging in such unprofessional display, an act that left passersby dumbfounded.
One of the onlookers that spoke anonymously said “Police are supposed to be hamburger of peace not to add more injury to already bad situation other policemen were working tirelessly to calm down. If this is how policing job is carried out, we have not started. You can see the pains they caused fellow citizens,” he asked.
Their action, it was further gathered angered the despatch riders who protested against the police attitude. Calm was eventually restored.