A prosecution witness and Community Head of Makoko waterfront, Mr Steven Aji, has narrated to an Igbosere High Court, Lagos, how a police officer shot and killed one of his chiefs.
Aji gave this evidence in the ongoing trial of a dismissed police officer, Cpl. Pepple Boma, charged with manslaughter.
The community head, who was led in evidence by the Lagos State Prosecuting Counsel, Mr Hafeez Owokoniran, told the court that the defendant shot and killed one Timothy Hunpoyanwa during the destruction of Makoko waterfront settlement.
He said that the state government had given the residents notice to evacuate the settlement 24 hours before the incident occurred.
Aji said that he and his chiefs were already making arrangements to meet the government agents to ask for more time to enable them get another area to settle.
He told the court that they had been living in the Makoko settlement for a very long time, adding that 24 hours was not enough for them to pack out of the area.
He narrated to Justice Module Nicole-Clay that immediately after the notice to vacate the area was given to them, government officials and police started destroying their houses.
“Some little children fell into the lagoon as we were trying to rescue them; we were beaten with horsewhip.
“While I was trying to pacify the officials to give us more time to enable us leave the waterfront, I saw the defendant shooting the deceased, Timothy Hunpoyanwa in the stomach.
“The defendant was shooting sporadically,” Aji narrated.
Another witness, the deceased’s brother, Francis Hunpoyanwa, told the court that he was at home when he heard that his elder brother had been shot.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state government had, sometime in 2013, arraigned the defendant over alleged manslaughter.
The government alleged that the defendant unlawfully killed one Timothy Hunpoyanwa by shooting him with a gun.
The government said that the defendant committed the offence on July 21, 2013 at about 1:20 pm. at Makoko, Yaba in Lagos.
According to the prosecution, the offence contravenes Section 222 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
However, the case was adjourned till Feb. 26, for continuation of trial