Family demands justice as NDLEA men kill 2 in Lagos
The family of 22-year-old Gafaru Yusuf has been thrown into mourning after operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) allegedly shot him and Emmanuel Olomowewe dead in the Idioro area of Mushin, Lagos State.
The NDLEA operatives stormed the community around 9.40pm on Wednesday to raid a drug den when they started shooting indiscriminately to scare hoodlums attempting to scuttle their plan in the community.
It was learnt that stray bullets hit and killed the victims.
Speaking with our correspondent, Yusuf’s elder sister, Muhibah, while demanding justice for her brother, said he was on his way to buy food at a location in the community when a stray bullet from the NDLEA operatives killed him.
“My brother usually assists my father at his workplace in Lagos. But yesterday (Wednesday), he did not go to work. From what I was told, he was on his way to buy food around 9.40pm when we got the information that he got hit by a bullet fired by the NDLEA operatives. We want justice,” Muhibah said.
Yusuf’s tearful mother betrayed emotion during a conversation with our correspondent.
“I cannot say anything; let me give it (the phone) to another person that will talk to you,” she said.
A resident, who gave his name simply as Olasunkanmi, while lamenting the development, questioned the operatives for shooting indiscriminately in a residential area, adding that the bullets hit Yusuf’s head and Olomowewe’s chest.
He noted that the victims died on the spot, adding that people in the community had been enraged by the development.
Olasunkanmi said, “We are not saying the NDLEA should not do their job, but why will its operatives be shooting anyhow in a residential area? The NDLEA operatives invaded a drug den in the community around 10pm and started seizing illicit drugs which is in order.
“The operatives were about 50 and most of them were armed. While some wore the agency’s uniform, some of them dressed in casual wear. The people dealing in the drug business were enraged by the raid and started threatening to make trouble.
“But the NDLEA operatives started shooting to have their way and stray bullets hit two young boys in the head and chest. Both of them died on the spot.”
Another resident, who gave his name as Lukmon, said, “We are tired of the NDLEA’s issue in our neighbourhood. Why will they be shooting carelessly in a residential neighbourhood? If they want to work, it is expected that they would have a target and they should have a plan for how they will arrest the target instead of shooting carelessly to the point of killing two innocent persons.
“It is uncalled for; they suddenly stormed the area with guns and started shooting. Gafar Yusuf, 22, was killed on Imoru Street. We are already making arrangements to bury his corpse. We heard three people were killed during the raid but what I can confirm to you for now is the death of two persons.”
Video clips in possession of our correspondent showed people running helter-skelter during the raid that created tension in the community.
In one of the video clips, our correspondent observed residents in the area shedding tears as they surrounded the corpses of the victims.
Blood stains gushing out of their corpses were visible on the road as people expressed anger over the tragedy.
Contacted, the spokesperson for the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, said the operatives stormed the area to arrest a drug baron, adding that some suspects were arrested and illicit drugs recovered.
He said, “Our men on Wednesday night went to Mushin to arrest the baron behind shipments of drugs that have been coming from Ghana.
“After the arrest of some of the wanted suspects and recovery of drugs and their vehicles, our men came under attack from their boys who had locked all the exit gates in the community and our officers had to defend themselves to come out of the area alive.”
Babafemi attached pictures of the two arrested suspects, the drugs and vehicles recovered during the raid to his response.