The Police Public Relations Officer in Lagos State, Ben Hundeyin, on Friday, said the police officer and soldier, both unidentified, seen in a viral video tussling on a major road was due to a traffic violation.
Hundeyin, who made a live appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, gave an account of the events leading up to the altercation.
According to him, the police had received a series of complaints about people driving against traffic on Carter Bridge. As a result, the Lagos State Task Force was purportedly mandated to put a stop to it.
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“Two days ago, they [task force] were on that road very early in the morning and they saw this vehicle driving against traffic,” the PPRO said.
“They stopped the vehicle and the soldier in the vehicle got angry that despite seeing him in the vehicle, they still stopped the vehicle and he gave a directive that they should allow the vehicle to go and he was totally ignored.
“He was in no position to give a directive. It’s internal security; this is not war or anything. He was absolutely in no position to give a directive and he directed again that they should allow the vehicle to go.”
According to the police spokesman, even in the event that the soldier was in a position to give directives, the directive he allegedly gave was an unlawful one.
“[The soldier] was ignored again and that got him angry that despite what he was saying, he was totally ignored.
“He decided to attack the police officer which many would agree is an unwise thing because he was trying to disarm an armed police officer – totally unwise, totally reckless, and totally unsafe.
“But we would like to commend the restraint our men exhibited because anything could have happened. The gun could have gone off and it’s totally surprising that this is coming from an infantryman,” he said.
The badge on the soldier’s sleeve shows that he belongs to the Infantry Corps, Hundeyin pointed out, adding that the serviceman should have been more careful about the weapon.
“But as I said, we appreciate the fact that our men exhibited restraint because if something had gone awry, people would not have been patient to listen to what transpired before it happened,” he said.
“People would just go, ‘Police have killed somebody again. They have moved from civilians to soldiers.’”