Police in Lagos have denied that an operative of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) shot a male cleaner dead on Monday in Ilupeju area of the state.
Sources had said a SARS operative killed the cleaner when he shot at a group of hemp smokers on Ajisegiri Street.
Lagos police spokesman, Bala Elkana, said in a statement on Monday that the deceased, identified as Francis, was hit by a stray bullet fired by members of a gang who were in the radar of the police.
The statement said: “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 assailants shot sporadically and at the processed killed a middle age man who was passing by. Reinforcement was quickly drafted to the scene.”
Mr Elkana said the gang had been on the wanted list of the police for murder of six persons.
The statement also 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 assured Ilupeju residents that the command had intensified patrols and surveillance in the affected areas.
He said the victim’s corpse had been deposited at an undisclosed mortuary for post mortem examination.
“The Command extends its heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased person and assured them that justice will prevail,” the statement said.