By Ameh Comrade Godwin on February 16, 2014
Tragedy struck recently at Ayinla Junction in Agbado area of Ayinla Ojokoro Local Government Area of Lagos state when a 36-year-old tricyclist, Richard Samuel, was killed by an OP MESA official, simply identified as Mohammed, over the tricyclist’s failure to pay an illegal daily levy of N 500. The ugly incident, according to Adegoke Samson, Chairman of the Agbado/Dalemo unit of the Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria, TORA, occurred when two OP-MESA officials approached him around 10.am with vehicle number plate KJA 971 AR and inscription ‘OP MESA 039’ for the usual N500, he summoned Samuel, who is famously known as Small Sunday, being their Financial Secretary, to give them the money. But there were only N1,000 notes with Samuel and he asked to be excused to go and get smaller denomination of the notes. Adegoke said while Samuel was away, another tricyclist in same association came by and asked why they should attend to the officers who had already collected same amount of money from a neighbouring tricycle unit. Adegoke said, “He left and returned later in rage, grabbing Samuel by his trousers and ordering him to enter into their vehicle. He queried him saying: ‘So you don’t want to give me the money? Do you think I am a police officer? I will kill you now!’. Samuel was stunned at his outrage and refused to enter their vehicle. At this time, he had the N500 note and was pleading with the man to collect it. Instead of yielding, the officer suddenly pointed his gun at Samuel at close range and shot him dead on the spot. When his colleague, a fellow officer, queried his superfluous action, he immediately shot him dead as well, ordering a private vehicle owner driving past to stop, at gun point, and dragging the corpse of his colleague into the vehicle whose driver he immediately ordered to drive off. He could not use their vehicle because he had punctured one of its tyres in the course of his shooting-spree. “That was how he escaped and left their driver who was later apprehended by officers of Ebenezer Police Station by Block Bus Stop in Jankara”, Adegoke said. Reacting to the incident, Samuel’s widow, Mrs. Rukayat Samuel, a 30-year-old woman said, “When a friend called to inform me that Monday morning, I shouted and fainted. I demanded to know my husband’s killer and was taken to Ebenezer Police Station where the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, informed me that the matter had been immediately transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department, Panti that Tuesday morning since it was a murder case. The police at the Ebenezer station tried very well for me. They offered to take me and my accompanying family members to Panti, which they did the following day. There, I saw the OP MESA vehicle used by my husband’s killer. “We were shocked to find out that same Wednesday morning, OP MESA officials were at Panti to demand the release of the driver of the vehicle. The police, however, insisted Mohammed must be fished out first. We were told the OP MESA officials claimed my husband was shot because he was caught smoking marijuana in a marijuana joint. Continuing she said, That is blatant lie because a crowd of people at Ayinla junction witnessed how he shot my husband and then shot his colleague who reacted. Now they want to play trick and cover up the crime to prevent justice. The policemen at Panti later informed us that Mohammed had been detained in their office at PWD, near Oshodi. ”The truth is that my husband never even smoked cigarette, not to talk of Marijuana. I had known him for 17 years. He never smoked cigarette and he never came home late at night. His job has been riding of tricycle for some years now.” While recollecting memories of her late husband with nostalgia, an emotion-laden Rukayat said, “The last moment I had with him was on phone. He had called me that Monday around 9.am to greet and know what I would like him to buy for me when returning home. This is so painful because before now, I had lost two children; one was a stillborn and the other, a three-year-old child. My husband was a peace-loving man and I’m sure he kept no extra-marital affair because he usually called me to meet him at a joint where he always treated me to soft drinks and nice meals. That was how he always relaxed. Can’t you see that you have uncounted reasons to thank God?
The man didn’t that he is going to die and wife was not preparing to be a widow but I has happen it has happen #500.00 takes a man’s life and make a woman widow it turns out as if life is no more expensive. You are alive today is not by your power neither by your might but by the mercy and the grace of God that’s in every situation give thanks to God no condition is permanent. I pray that no one will make you a widow or orphan in Jesus name