The Olomore axis of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, was on Thursday thrown into pandemonium following a violent clash between the special anti-cultism team of the police and traders.
Two traders were shot in the fracas, with the police describing the shooting as a mistake.
A witness said some police officers attached to Lafenwa division were allegedly pursuing some suspects believed to be ‘hardened’ criminals in the area, but were prevented by some traders.
In anger, the squad reportedly opened fire on the traders. Two of the traders were hit by the bullets.
Angry protesters then set up bonfires, as the protest spread to other areas, forcing many motorists to make detours, as passersby took to their heels.
Meanwhile, the Ogun State police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, has reacted to the allegations.
He confirmed that one of the police officers “mistakenly shot the two traders”.
He explained that “the officer shot in the air to disperse the protesting traders, but his bullet mistakenly hit the two victims”.
He said the officer has been arrested and is currently undergoing interrogation, adding that the Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, has ordered an investigation into the case.
“What actually happened today was that our men at Lafenwa division received an information early in the morning by members of the public that there are some fracas (sic) at Olomore area. As a result of that, the DPO Lafenwa division mobilised some of his team and they went straight to the place,” he said.
“They arrested four suspects…as the police were about to move with the suspects, some hoodlums swept on them that they are not going to take those people away.
“In a bid to scare those people away, one of the ‘anti-cultist men’ fired into the air and unfortunately a stray bullet hit two men. The men have been rushed to the hospital and they are responding to treatment. The person who fired the shot has been ordered to be arrested and he is currently undergoing interrogation at the State Criminal Investigation Department,” he said.