Hundreds of residents of Ilaje community in Makoko, Lagos on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest to the state House of Assembly over recent killings in the area.
The protesters urged Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and Lagos Assembly to probe the alleged killing of four persons in the community on May 10 by men of Lagos State Task Force.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the placard-carrying protesters uniform T-shirts condemned the alleged killings and invasion of their community.
Addressing the leadership of the House, Alex Omotehinse, spokesman for the protesters, said that the alleged murder of innocent persons by the police required government’s investigation to prevent break down of law and order.
“Our protest is all about unlawful invasion, killing and maiming of our people by the policemen under the leadership of Jide Bakare, the Chairman, Lagos State Task Force on Land Grabbing.
“We are not fighting on our land, Bakare led a team of policemen to Ori Oke and Ilaje Community, and invaded the communities, killing four people, while several others were injured.
“The injured are in the hospitals with gun injuries. The Commissioner of Police said he was not aware of the operation, describing it as illegal.
“The Lagos Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohinmi, had said that the command set up a committee and that the people involved had been arrested.
“But surprisingly, those involved are still moving around freely and nothing has been done to them. That’s why we call on the governor and the House of Assembly to set up an independent panel of enquiry so that those who are culpable would be brought to book.
“As a matter of urgency, this matter must be addressed, we want the police to parade the culprits and stop aiding and abetting them,” he said.
According to him, if the government failed to act, ”the Ilaje nation will rise to defend themselves”. He said they were peace-loving people.
Omotehinse, General Secretary, Ilaje National Alliance Movement, said that the people wanted the arrest and prosecution of those who carried out the attack on the community.
Omotehinshe, who said that the people had lost confidence in the police to carry out an impartial investigation into the case, alleged that the police command was shielding the culprits.
Also speaking, Adeola Ilori, a human rights lawyer, said that he was pained that the state government had not paid a visit to the family of the victims.
Mr Ilori said that such attacks on defenceless citizens was not only a threat to the people, but also their future.
Addressing the protesters, the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa commended the protesters for peaceful conduct. He said that the House would look into the matter.
Mr Obasa, who was represented by the Majority Leader of the House, Sanai Agunbiade, said: “I want to assure you that this case will be presented to the Speaker.
“All the issues you have raised are issues of importance and we will look into the matter. All I am telling you is that justice will be done on this matter.”