• Eche; Lagos State Police Command Photos: Family, file
The family of Eche Israel, an electronic dealer at the Alaba International Market, Ojo, have become apprehensive after he was allegedly shot by some operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in the Mile 2 area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the 30-year-old trader had finished from work around 6pm on Friday and was heading home on a motorcycle when he was stopped by the officers.
During an exchange that allegedly ensued, the victim was said to have queried the officers for stopping him and asked the motorcycle rider to move on.
He was subsequently shot in the waist.
The officers were alleged to have shot continuously into the air to scare away residents, who had thronged the scene.
He was allegedly put in the boot of the car the SARS men brought and driven away.
A cousin of the victim, Mary Israel, said a family friend, who witnessed the shooting, called the attention of the family to the incident.
She said they had been to different police stations in the state, including the SARS office at Ikeja, adding that Eche’s whereabouts had remained unknown.
She said, “He deals in electronics in Alaba market. He had finished the day’s work and was going to his house at Ajegunle around 6pm on Friday when the officers asked him to stop. They parked a red vehicle beside the road.
“They found a Samsung phone on him and some money. The man questioning him was not in uniform, so he argued with him and asked why he was being questioned. The policeman held him by the trousers when he asked his motorcycle rider to move on.
“They shot him in the waist. The motorcycle rider fled. He was thrown into the boot of the vehicle and the policemen drove off.
“They didn’t find anything incriminating on him. He is not a robber or a thief. He has his business and a family. He is a responsible man.”
Another family member, Blessing Israel, said the policemen were identified with their police-crested AK-47 guns, adding that one of the men also flashed his ID card at residents when they tried to mob them.
“We have been to SARS Ikeja, Mile 2 Police Station and the Federal SARS at Alagbon. We just returned from the Adeniji Adele Police Station. They all said there was no suspect named Eche Israel with waist injury in their cells. Where else can we go? There has been no word about him since last Friday,” she added.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti, said he would get back to our correspondent, but had yet to do so as of press time.