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How our colleague was killed by hoodlums –LASTMA officials

Two Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials on Tuesday told an Ikeja High Court how their colleague, the late Godwin Obasu, was allegedly killed by hoodlums.
The LASTMA officials are Messrs. Olayinka Adeoye and Salam Olajide.

The Lagos State Government had arraigned five tricycle riders, Babalola Femi, Ayodele Yusuf, Oyeniyi Ayomide, Ridwan Ramon and Waris Yusuf over the alleged murder of Obasu.

The defendants are standing trial on charges bordering on murder, assault and grievous bodily harm which they pleaded not guilty to.

Adeoye, while being led in evidence by the state counsel, Mr. M.C. Adewoye, told the court that he was at the Anthony area of Lagos when he got a call from his colleague, one Mr. Sanni Ekundayo, that they needed help.

The witness said he was eating when Ekundayo came and said they wanted to arrest a vehicle and he was having some difficulties.

“So, I asked some of my colleagues to go with him and by the time I finished eating, they told me that they had already towed the vehicle and it was inside the yard.

“That was around 2.00 p.m. and we went into our changing room because we had just finished our morning shift.

“While we were there, we heard a loud knock on the door and our colleague informed us that there were some hoodlums outside, that we should not come out.

“So, we were like, why? So, myself, Orokoto Sunday and another colleague went out and when we saw the crowd, we decided to go back inside and wait for the backup we had called for,” he narrated.

The witness went further to tell the court that he heard a gunshot 15 minutes after, which gave him confidence that their backup had arrived.

“So, we rushed outside and we saw the late Obasu in the pool of his blood. We rushed him to our clinic in Oshodi and later to the Gbagada General Hospital, but the case could not be handled that night. Two days later, he died,” Adeoye said.

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During cross-examination, the witness said that the deceased was at the Anthony taxi park before the incident and that he did not see the person who shot him.

The witness reiterated that it was after he heard a gun shot and came out that he saw the deceased in his pool of blood.

The second witness, Olajide, in his testimony, told the court that March 16, 2021 was a sad day because he was one of the officers attacked by the hoodlums with different weapons.

Olajide said that the hoodlums attacked them with knives, bottles, cutlass and other dangerous weapons.

“I ran into a shop with some of my colleagues and the backup we called arrived 15 minutes later. The back up that we called was able to capture most of the miscreants.

“On this same sad day, I was charging my phone somewhere, but it was stolen and the sum of N59,000 was removed from my bank accounts before I was able to block the phone the next day.

“The sum of N12,000 was removed from my First Bank account and the sum of N47,000 was removed from my Zenith Bank account,” he said.

The witness, while being cross-examined, told the court that he ran away when he saw the crowd.

The prosecution told the court that the defendants allegedly committed the offences on March 16, 2021, during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic.

The prosecution submitted that the defendants were also alleged to have assaulted other officers, Adeniyi Hakeem, Salam Olajide and others at Anthony area of the state.

The prosecution added that the defendants were said to have assisted a tricycle rider who was their colleague to use machetes and other dangerous weapons on the LASTMA officers, which later led to the death of Obasu.

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It was alleged that Obasu and Hakeem were attacked with machetes and other dangerous weapons by the driver of a commercial bus with registration number FKJ 452 YC, after his vehicle was apprehended for contravening the traffic law of the state.

It was also alleged that the two officers who were said to be in mufti before the attack were on their way home before the commercial bus drivers went berserk and attacked the officers for carrying out their statutory duties.

The prosecution alleged that Obasu was struck several times with machetes, resulting in deep lacerations on the head and his eventual death; while Hakeem, who was also attacked in similar manner, was in a coma.

Justice Hakeem Oshodi adjourned the case until Sept. 30 for continuation of trial. (NAN)

Adenike Ayodele
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