A policeman, identified as Corporal Ekpo, allegedly shot and killed a community leader, Timothy Hunpoyanwa, in the Makoko area of Lagos on Saturday during a demolition exercise on Makoko Waterfront authorised by the state government.
Government began the demolition of shanties on the waterfront last Monday but promised to demolish only structures which were within 100 metres from a power line installed on the lagoon.
However, it was learnt that on Saturday morning, a joint taskforce extended the demolition further which angered residents.
A resident, who craved anonymity, said the taskforce officials set some of the shanties ablaze, causing pandemonium in the area.
The source added that it was in a bid to settle dispute between the residents and the officials that the police shot and killed the victim.
He said, “Around 1pm, a joint taskforce team comprising policemen and officials of the state ministry of environment and Kick Against Indiscipline set some of the shanties ablaze.
“We wondered why they should be doing such because we had talks with the state government who promised us that only the shanties built within 100 metres from the powerline would be demolished.
“So we prevented them from working. The officials were bent on continuing and a scuttle ensued. The Otun Baale, Timothy, then attempted to make peace when marine policemen attached to Oworo Division came to the scene. Ekpo then shot and his bullet killed Otun Baale on the spot.”
It was learnt that the police also arrested six other youths in the area as KAI officials continued to demolish the shanties.
The community, which has about 50,000 residents, according to the state government, is illegal and poses environmental threat.
Thousands of displaced residents, who have since relocated under the Third Mainland Bridge and now live in their boats, have said they will stage a protest at the Secretariat, Alausa on Monday over the issue.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Ngozi Braide, said she had heard of the incident but had not yet been briefed.