Some residents of Arepo, a Lagos-Ogun border community yesterday took to the street in protest against the alleged murder of three men by the military.
It was alleged that about seven personnel of the military component of the joint task force on anti-pipeline vandalism on Sunday rounded up the three men identified as Biodun Mohammed, 24, Body and Chicago.
The security agents were said to have taken the trio, who were picked at a beer parlor in the area into a bush where they allegedly shot them and abandoned their corpses in Voera Estate.
The aggrieved residents who found the decomposing bodies of the three men, it was learnt, caused chaos in the area, denying motorists access, a situation that caused bedlam on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
It was gathered that all three bodies had bloodstains on their heads, while two of the bodies, arrest found in the creek, demarcated by a wooden bridge from the location of the third body.
The residents accused the military of killing the victims inside the bush to pass them off as vandals.
They also claimed that the security agents go beyond their assigned duties in the area by exploiting and extorting innocent people.
Both the Nigerian Army and the Navy have denied knowledge of the deaths, insisting their men involved in the operation did not report any arrest nor deaths.
The Nation contacted the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ralph Osondu and the 9Brigade Commander, Gen. A. Biu who both said they were unaware of the incident.
Osondu said: “I am not aware of any such incident. I was with my commander today and he did not mention anything like that. Besides, I have told you before that that operation is under the Defence Headquarters. I only perform advisory role and I am not permitted to comment on the operation unless directed to do so. But I have not heard anything like that at all.”
Several telephone calls to the Ogun State Police Command’s spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi were not answered as at press time.
Mohammed was said to have been a furniture man in Sagamu were he resided and only visited to spend the holiday with his family.
According to the late Mohamed’s wife, Motunrayo who claimed she had confronted the soldiers, two of the personnel are Jason and Ola.
“It was around 7pm on Sunday. The military officers numbering about seven came to the restaurant where my husband was with his friends. I can identify two of them as Jason and Ola. I asked them what his offence was, but Jason asked me to keep quiet.
“He pointed a gun at me and threatened to shoot me if I moved closer. He did not allow my husband or his friend to utter a word. They took them away and since then we have not seen them.
“I went to report at the soldiers’ base in Ebute and they said they were not holding my husband. But this morning, some landlords in Voera Estate, where he was killed came to inform me that they had found his corpse in the bush.”
The deceased’s mother, Safura, said her son was murdered in cold blood, crying for justice.
“I was the one that called him on Saturday evening that he should come to Arepo to celebrate Easter with us and he did.
“On Sunday morning, he washed his clothes and ate. In the evening, he went to the restaurant to rest where he was arrested. The soldiers took them from there and went to execute them in the forest.
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