The Nigerian Army personnel that are attached to Exercise Crocodile Smile II has sent to grave one Sadiq Ismaila, 20-year-old and fled with his body to cover up the commited crime.
According to story, four others innocent citizens of Nigeria including one Paul Abudu and Bridget Afolabi were injured in the incident which occurred around 1:30pm, at Oniru Block Village, Lekki, Lagos on Tuesday.
Already, it was gathered that the soldiers, stormed the place with convoy of three heavily armoured tanks and upto (8) eight Hilux vans sometime on Sunday and arrested 76 persons whose offences where not known to them.
According to The Nation, (one of Nigerians top news reporting paper) the soldiers shot bullets sporadically, sending residents and workers running for their life to safety. The now dead victim, Ismaila, who was packing blocks in the village, abandoned them on hearing the gunshots.
About 65 of those arrested were moved to the Maroko Police Division and finally transferred them to the Lagos State Taskforce on Environment. Some were released at the army barrack after they must have been subjected to hard labour and made to sleep in the open wild field.
According to a food vendor who witnessed the turnout, Rosaline Adedipe said the soldiers shot Ismaila, because he refused to stop when the soldiers ordered him to do so .
“They shot him on the head. He was packing blocks when the army men started coming to his direction. People were running and Sadiq ran too. They told him to stop but he refused. He ran towards the fence and it was while he was standing by the fence that one of them told the other one: “Wait! I will kill him”.
“Then, that one fired a shot on his head and Sadiq died on the spot. By that time, they had arrested four other persons. They now told the four men to carry his body into their Hilux van and they fled the area. This is the spot where it happened. See his blood still showing on the ground, despite that sand was used to cover it up.
“What the army people did was very wrong. Sadiq neither drank nor smoked. He was just doing his legitimate job and they killed him like that. Those behind it should be arrested. Let justice be done for Sadiq.”
Also narrating his experience, Abudu told The Nation that he was running like others when they saw the soldiers but suddenly fell.
“One of the army men followed me. When I fell, he jumped on my arm with his boot. I cried and he left me there. That was how I broke my arm. I am not a criminal. I do not smoke marijuana . I ran because they were just arresting people anyhow.”
Afolabi, who sustained leg injury, said he fell while escaping being victim of indiscriminate arrest, however admitted that there were some people in the vicinity who indulged in illegal drug abuse.
The Block Village Chairman, Bola Ekundayo, Reacting to the incident, urged President Buhari and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to probe Ismaila’s death.
“I know Sadiq very well. He’s a young man from Oyo State. He just recently finished learning tailoring. He was packing blocks at the village to save money,” he said.
“He neither drank alcohol nor smoked. He was very gentle and respectful. Most of us here are block makers. This place used to be a ghetto where they smoked marijuana but the police have flushed most of them out. So, we renamed it Block Village because we are into block business. Why did they carry his body away after killing him? Is it not because they wanted to cover up their crime? When I heard of the incident, I called the Divisional Police Officer (DCO), Maroko, on phone and told him but he did not come. We are poor people here. Everyone here is afraid because no one knows when the army will come again to cause another trouble.”
A lawyer and President of Yoruba Council of Youths, Aremo Hassan promised to get justice for Ismaila, adding that he has already began compiling evidence to formerly report the incident.
“I am at the scene. I have spoken to some of the eyewitnesses and I have also seen the spot where they shot Sadiq. I have seen his blood-stained clothe. This atrocity must not go unpunished.” he had said. In a broadcast message, Hassan wrote:
“Please I just got a distress call that men of the Nigerian Army code named ‘Crocodile Smile 2’ attached to the Epe Army Barracks, without any provocation have killed one innocent man, Mr. Sodiq Ismail, 20, from Ona Ara Local Government Area in Ibadan, Oyo State.
“The soldiers left with the deceased body in their armoured vehicles to cover up their atrocities. The incident occurred during their rampaging show of strength. Kindly alert the whole world of the evil, injustice and killings committed by them.”