A resident of Idigbo, a community in the Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, has been killed allegedly by an officer of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
Reports obtained by NewsTimes on Monday morning revealed that the victim, Jacob Bamgbola, was conveying his niece on a motorcyclist to a destination in the community when he encountered some immigration officers manning a checkpoint on the expressway.
It was gathered that the NIS officers stopped him along the Ijowun end of the Idiroko Expressway and demanded N200 before allowing him to continue his journey.
Reports had it that Bamgbola refused to pay the requested amount, insisting that he did nothing wrong to warrant him being extorted of N200.
The situation reportedly led to a heated argument, and while some of the officers were busy interrogating other motorists, Bamgbola took advantage of the fact that much attention was not on him and zoomed off.
The PUNCH quoted a source as saying that on getting to his sister’s place, Bamgbola dropped his niece and proceeded to inform some youths in the community about his encounter with the immigration officers.
The source explained that some of the youths, who have had similar experiences with the immigration officers on the road, mobilized other youths to the house of a chief in the community, Moses Faleye, to protest about the development.
NewsTimes learnt that during the protest, the immigration officers stormed the premises and, while trying to disperse the protesters, allegedly shot Bamgbola dead.
“Bamgbola went to carry his sister’s daughter, and on his way back, he met immigration officers on the road. Those officers are always there at the checkpoint. They stopped him and wanted to collect N200 from him, but he refused.
“He told them that he was a son of Otun village and asked why he should pay them anything. After he left, he complained to some youths, and the youths mobilised themselves to the Baale’s house to register their grievances over the activities of the officers.
“But within some minutes, the immigration officers came in a van, and while the Baale was trying to calm the situation, they started shooting, and in the process, one of them, known as Lamba, shot Bamgbola. The youths were rushing Bamgbola to the hospital when he died,” the source told journalists.
Reacting, the head of the vigilance group in the town, Adesina Alabi, lamented the incident saying that security personnel were fond of extorting money from road users along the road.
“Just come to this side of the road and see how police, Customs officers, immigration officers, and others would just mount roadblocks and extort money from motorists. It is becoming too much,” Alabi reportedly said.
The community chief, Falaye, also expressed his displeasure and said the events that claimed Bamgbola’s life was unfortunate, adding that the matter should have been settled amicably.
He said, “It happened in front of my house. Youths in the town came to register their displeasure over the activities of the immigration officers in our community.
“While I was trying to placate them, some immigration officers came, and when they saw the youths, they started to shoot in the air. In the process, one person was hit by a bullet, and he died.
“After the incident, the case was reported at the Igbokofi Police Station, and the policemen came with cameras, and they took statements from us.”
When contacted, the spokesperson for the NIS in the state, Olajide Oshifeso, reportedly told journalists that “The matter is already being investigated, and when it is completed, details of the matter will be made public.”