Kirikiri area of Lagos, was yesterday, thrown into pandemonium, following attempt by a mob to lynch some naval personnel whom they accused causing of the death of a conductor attached to a truck driver.
According to Vanguard,the deceased was reportedly crushed by the truck he was attached to, while the driver, Ibrahim Salima, was reportedly running away from naval personnel stationed at the Kirikiri bridge, by Tokunbo car park road, to control the perennial gridlock.
There were, however, different accounts to how the tragedy happened. A version of the account, alleged that naval personnel stationed there usually collect N500 from truck drivers who wait on the queue to get petroleum products from jetties, daily.
However at about 9am yesterday, Salisu was said to have refused to part with the amount, an action that was taken as affront by the naval ratings. One of them was said to have chased the moving truck, in the process of which he allegedly dragged the motor boy, identified as Abass Kasali, out.
Unfortunately, Kasali reportedly fell right under the truck and was crushed by the moving truck.
Another version of the account, said when the truck driver sighted the naval rating approaching, he reportedly jumped into the truck started the ignition, with a view to vacate the illegal parking spot. In the process, the conductor followed suit, but reportedly missed his steps and fell right under the truck, causing the tyres to run over him.
A third version also had it that the truck had a break failure and in the driver’s bid to control it, it rammed into a commercial motorcyclist, killing him on the spot.
The incident reportedly sparked off a protest, as an angry mob reportedly descended on the naval rating. Some of his colleagues who were on their way to work reportedly stopped to rescue him from the angry mob. But they were reportedly overpowered.
It took the combined efforts of armed military men, including the Police to quell the situation.
Eye witnesses said: “The man was sitting down here (pointing to a position) when the tanker driver approached him to come and work with him, explaining that his real motor boy was ill. It was not up to two hours that we saw him struggling with a known naval personnel who usually comes around to collect N500 from all tanker drivers. By this time, the driver had veered off his lane in a bid to move. In the process, he hit a car with the number plate BX 941 ABC and a motorcycle with plate number KSF342 QE.“Along the line, the rating succeeded in dragging the motor boy down from the truck. Unfortunately, he fell and had his head crushed by the tyres of the truck and died instantly.“A mob held the naval personnel hostage and locked him inside a shop until the arrival of his colleagues who came and rescued him. Tanker drivers and their conductors started protesting the death of their member. But the Navy condoned off all routes leading to their barracks and shot sporadically to wade off the protesters.”
When Vanguard arrived the scene, blood stained as well as particles suspected to be the deceased’s skull were sighted on the spot. The incident worsened the traffic situation in the area, as vehicles remained stand still position for the better part of the day.
However, when this reporter attempted to take shots of the scene, some men in plain clothes who identified themselves as naval personnel apprehended this reporter. Her phone was seized, as she was whisked into a waiting van, to a place where some uniformed naval personnel were, with threat from some of them to beat her up. It took the intervention of some officers of the ranks of Lieutenants to free this reporter from the the ratings.