An official of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps, Monsuru Bolaji, has been murdered by some suspected cult members in the Aguda, Surulere area of the state.
Bolaji, a Corps Assistant 1, was reportedly stabbed in the neck and left for dead around 9pm on Wednesday.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the deceased, who was on night duty on that day, was preparing to resume work when a five-man gang ambushed him.
A source close to the deceased said the assailants had been on the trail of the victim for sometime.
He noted that they had accused him of giving information to the police on their cult activities.
The source explained that as Bolaji was going to join a patrol van that would take him and his colleagues to their respective duty posts, the gun-wielding assailants opened fire on him.
He said, “He was on night duty. He had left his house in uniform, not knowing that some people had been trailing him. On his way to meet his colleagues, who had been waiting for him in an operational van, they shot at him.
“He ran towards a bar to seek protection, but they continued the shooting. People who were watching the Champions League match between Manchester United and Sevilla at that time fled.
“The hoodlums eventually held him at a pole in front of the bar and stabbed him in the neck. He was rushed to a hospital in the community, where he was confirmed dead on arrival. The gang accused him of being a police informant.”
A security agent, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the gang had threatened the victim that he would not see the end of February.
“We don’t have any clue that he had any issue with those hoodlums until he was killed. I learnt that the cult members had threatened to kill him before the end of this month. I don’t think he took their threat seriously,” the official said.
A colleague of the deceased described him as a diligent and intelligent officer, saying that his death was a great loss to his family and the corps.
She said, “I was very sad when I visited his family today (Thursday). He is survived by a pregnant wife, two children of about five and three years old, respectively and parents. Monsuru (Bolaji) was a dedicated and courageous officer and he would be greatly missed.”
The spokesperson for the LSNSC, Adewale Afolabi, could not be reached for comment on the incident.
But the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti, confirmed the murder in a statement on Thursday, adding that the state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, had visited the deceaded’s family.
Oti said, “The Lagos State CP, Edgal Imohimi, visited the Aguda-Surulere office of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps to commiserate with the officials on the death of their colleague, who was killed on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 around 9.30pm at Umunede Bar, on Mallam Isah Close, Aguda, Surulere, by a gang of five cult members.
“Similarly, the CP paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased. In his message to the bereaved family, the CP told them that the entire Lagos State Police Command shared in their grief and assured them that the command would leave no stone unturned to unravel the killers of the late Monsuru Bolaji.”
The PPRO stated that the command had commenced investigation into the case and three suspects had been arrested.
He added that the CP had deployed operatives in the area to beef up security.
“To this end, the CP directed a contingent of Special Anti-Robbery Squad personnel and the personnel of the command’s Anti-Cultism Squad to relocate to Census Police Outpost, Aguda, Surulere, with immediate effect.
“He also mandated them to take the fight to the criminal enclaves of the cult members and fish out the killers of the late official. So far, the three suspects arrested in connection with the case are undergoing interrogation at the command’s Anti-Cultism Squad office,” he added.
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