Residents of Ilaje in the Ajegunle area of Lagos State have accused men of the state police command of arresting innocent persons during a raid to restore normalcy in the area after pandemonium broke out between two groups of hoodlums on Monday.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the hoodlums were having a party in the area when a disagreement arose among them, which led to a clash.
The clash was said to have caused tension in the area, leading to traders and residents running helter-skelter, but in a bid to secure lives and property, the police reportedly intervened.
During the intervention, the residents alleged that the police raided their homes under the pretext of looking for criminals, adding that innocent residents were arrested and injured.
It was gathered that police raids in the area usually occur at odd hours when people were going out and returning from work, adding that the police usually take advantage of such raids to arrest innocent persons and collect money to release them on bail.
Reacting to Monday’s incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said the command had an ongoing operation to rid the area of criminals, who had been terrorising the residents.
Elkana stated, “We do receive distress calls on the activities of cultists and hoodlums in that area every day, leading to incessant attacks, harassment, stealing and looting, causing hardship to innocent persons. So, we are putting heat on the area and other areas, where criminal elements are disturbing the people, because they are not above the law.
“We have an operation going on there to sanitise the place. There are always cult and gang clashes there, and they use that opportunity to attack people. All those injured were injured by the cultists and not by our men. All the pictures circulating are pictures of attacks by hoodlums and those making the noise are being mischievous and are among the people causing trouble in that area.
“They don’t want sanity there because they feel that they are above the law, but the police cannot keep quiet and watch them create hardship for the people. We must sanitise our streets and neighbourhoods to restore normalcy