Five persons, including two policemen, were on Monday feared killed after hundreds of protesters flooded the streets of Sagamu, Ogun State to register their anger over the death of footballer Kazeem Tiamiyu.
Tiamiyu, a player with Remo Star Football Club, was killed on Saturday after policemen attached to the Zonal Intervention Squad (ZIS) arrested him on allegations of being a Yahoo Boy or internet fraudster.
Tiamiyu, it was gathered, was knocked down by an oncoming vehicle while being taken to Abeokuta by the cops whose vehicle developed a fault on the road and was parked for repairs.
His death angered the people of Sagamu who felt the police were attempting to exonerate their operatives of complicity.
Residents who carried placards and green leaves Monday morning marched round Sagamu demanding the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit notorious for impunity but wrongly accused in this instance.
Monday’s protest turned bloody after policemen deployed to quell the situation allegedly opened fire on protesters and threw teargas canisters on the crowd.
It was gathered that three civilians were hit by stray bullets and two of them allegedly died on the spot while the third person passed on while being rushed to hospital.
The mob were said to have descended on the policemen, allegedly killing two of them in retaliation, while bonfires were set along major streets causing obstruction of movement.
Police Commissioner (CP) Kenneth Ebrimson denied that policemen opened fire on protesters, insisting that the cops resisted the use of force despite provocation from miscreants who took advantage of the protest.
He said, “Not a single bullet was fired by policemen. I am in Sagamu as I speak to you. We have since addressed the protesters and calmed them down. They dispersed quietly. What happened is that some miscreants tried to seize the opportunity of the protest to cause trouble in the state.
“They were the ones who tried to burn down the police station but we dispersed them. We did not fire any shot despite the provocation from them. We know some people were trying to push the police to the wall so that they will say see what has happened. That was why there was strict instruction on the men not to use force.
“We have taken control of the situation. The responsible protesters were addressed and assured that the team that arrested the footballer was already in detention and undergoing internal disciplinary action.
“We have said it before that the policemen that arrested him are not SARS operatives. They were of the Zonal Intervention Squad and have been arrested,” he said.
The Assistant Inspector General (AIG) in charge of Zone II comprising Lagos and Ogun States, Ahmed Iliyasu, condemned the incident that led to Tiamiyu’s death, warning that officers found wanting in the discharge of their duties would be sanctioned appropriately.
Iliyasu said, “I will not tolerate any act of indiscipline, unprofessionalism, indolence and disregard to human rights and the rule of law by officers and men of the two commands under my watch.”
Tiamiyu’s family has asked for justice to done in the matter.