Stray bullet on Monday morning killed a cleaner identifies as Francis during a gun duel between suspected armed robbers and operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Ilupeju, Lagos.
There were conflicting information on the source of the bullet as eyewitnesses accused SARS of being responsible for the death of Francis, said to be a cleaner around 7:30 am at Ladipo near Ajisegiri Street Ilupeju.
The deceased was said to be going about his routine business when the bullet hit and killed him on the spot.
It was gathered that the police had taken an alleged notorious suspect Ikechukwu Monye, 39, to the neighbourhood for identification of his gang’s armoury but they were attacked by his alleged members in a bid to scuttle the operation.
There was an information that Ilupeju has experienced violent cult clashes especially between rival groups Eiye and Aiye in recent times that have left no fewer than six persons killed.
There have also been allegations of armed robbery, rape and extortion against hoodlums in the area extending to Onipanu and Mushin.
Reacting to the incident, the police said the hoodlums released gunshots upon sighting the SARS team and killed the cleaner in the process.
A statement by spokesman Bala Elkana, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) said the assailants shot sporadically and in the process killed a middle-aged man who was passing by.
“Reinforcement was quickly drafted to the scene. The whole area is cordoned with a view to apprehending the members of the gang and bring them to justice.
“The gang in question is responsible for series of robberies within Ilupeju and environ. They have been on the wanted list of the police for murder of six persons during three robbery operations that they carried out.
“The command condemned in totality, the senseless killings of innocent persons by those criminal elements and will not tolerate attacks on its personnel by criminals.
“The command has vowed to bring an end to the activities of this deadly gang. Members of the public are enjoyed to remain calm as the command has intensified patrols and surveillance in the affected areas.
“The corpse of the victim of this violent attack has been removed and deposited at the mortuary for post mortem examination. The command extends its heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased person and assured them that justice will prevail,” he said.