There was pandemonium in Sawmill, Ilorin, Kwara State on Friday when a policeman attached to First Bank in the area, went berserk and shot three people.
The victims including one Akin Olaniyi were hit by stray bullets.
Pilot Crime gathered that bank customers, passers-by and shop owners in the area scampered for safety as the policeman shot sporadically for about 10 minutes.
The incident happened at about 4:30pm on the fateful day.
Eyewitnesses informed our reporter that the policeman had earlier had a face-off with a commercial motorcyclist.
The policeman who was said to have been drunk challenged a commercial motorcyclist for passing through a damaged median kerb on the road.
Consequently an argument reportedly ensued between the policeman who was on mufti and the motorcyclist, which later degenerated to fisticuffs.
It was learnt that the policeman thereafter went into the security post within the bank premises, took his gun and threatened to shoot the motorcyclist.
In what seem like a scene from an action film, the policeman reportedly opened fire, shooting volley of bullets, which hit the motorcyclist, a teenage boy and a man returning home from his workplace.
Giving account of the incident a commercial motorcyclist, Raheem Kazeem said, “The policeman was coming from a joint where he usually go to drink dry gin when he accosted the motorcyclist and challenged him for passing the route.
“The policeman who was on mufti at the time, ordered the Okada man but he refused to turn back, which led to a fight. The security man then threatened to kill the motorcyclist.
“The policemen left only to come back armed with a gun. He first of all shot into the air, which made people around run for dear lives.
“The officer then took the bike into the bank premises before he came back again and began shooting sporadically. In the process three people were hit by stray bullets.
“A teenage boy who was running errand for his mother was among those hit by bullets, ” he recounted.
A resident of the area, who simply identified himself, as Dimeji said there was panic when gunshots were heard.
“We thought it was cultists’ attack when gunshots were heard. People scampered for safety; motorcyclists left their motorcycles and took cover. It was later we got picture of the incident. It is quite unfortunate,” he added.
Recounting his ordeal to this medium on Saturday on his hospital bed at the Ilorin General Hospital, Olaniyi said he hid behind a container when he heard gunshot but was eventually hit by bullets.
“I was on my way home from work when I heard gunshots and saw people running. I took cover behind a container but bullets pierced the container and hit me on the side. I guess I passed out immediately because when I opened my eyes I saw myself on hospital bed.
A source at the hospital revealed that surgery has been performed on the victim to extract bullets while he will have to undergo another operation to remove the remaining.
The victim’s mother, Mrs. Esther Olaniyi expressed sadness over the incident.
According to her, Olaniyi was rescued from the scene by his boss and passers-by.
She disclosed that a police officer had been to the hospital to visit the victim and paid part of the bill.
“He asked us to give them estimate of cost of treatment. My prayer is that nothing would happen to my son.”
Giving his account, the victim’s boss, who identified himself as Opeyemi said, “If not because of some boys around who were courageous to stop the police officer he could have killed many people.
“Those boys grabbed him and collected the gun from him and he was mobbed.
“It was not only Olaniyi who was shot. The Okada man and a boy who was sent to buy kerosene was also hit by bullets.
Pilot crime learnt that the policeman was later taken to an unknown hospital for treatment from injuries suffered from the mob action.
Reacting to the incident, the State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ajayi Okasanmi said he was “yet to be fully briefed on the matter.”