The police have blamed the death of a middle-aged man simply identified as Francis on a stray bullet fired when their men ran into an ambush in the Ilupeju area of the state.
Men identified as members of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) reportedly killed Francis on Monday morning.
A witness had told TheCable that the deceased was killed while going about his daily cleaning job on Ajisegiri street in Ilupeju, Odiolowo Ojuwoye local council development area.
But reacting in a statement, Bala Elkana, spokesman of the command, said “a notorious gang leader” was leading security operatives to where arms were kept when they (policemen) were ambushed.
He explained that it was in the process that a stray bullet fired by members of the gang hit the deceased.
Elkana said the gang has been responsible for series of robberies within the area and wanted for the murder of six persons.
“SARS Operatives led by Insp Mohammed Akeem while being led by a notorious gang leader Ikechukwu Monye ‘m’ 39 years old, to where their arms are kept, were ambushed by members of the gang along Ajisegiri Street Ilupeju,” the statement said.
“The assailants shot sporadically and at the processed killed a middle age man who was passing by. Reinforcement was quickly drafted to the scene. The whole area is cordoned with a view of apprehending the members of the gang and bring them to justice.
“Ilupeju has experienced violent attacks between members of Aiye and Eiye confraternities who equally engaged in heinous crimes such as armed robbery, rape and murder.
“The gang in question is responsible for series of robberies within Ilupeju and environs. They have been on the wanted list of the Police for murder of six persons during three robbery operations that they carried out.
“The Command condemned in total senseless killings of innocent persons by those criminal elements and will not also tolerate attacks on its personnel by criminal elements and vowed to bring an end to the activities of this deadly gang.”
Elkana asked members of the public to remain calm, saying the command had intensified patrols and surveillance in the affected areas.