When on December 14, 2013, 18-year-old Ikenna Onyeizu and 21-year-old Moses Aiyenuro, attended a Christmas party at Dele Hotel, Ijora Badia area of Lagos State, little did they know that they would not return home.
Residents of the area told PUNCH Metro that the two boys were killed by drunken policemen attached to Ijora Badia Police Station around midnight.
Our correspondent also learnt that another youth, Mike Banji, was also shot by the policemen but survived.
Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, had told our correspondent last week that the boys were stabbed to death by some hoodlums during a fight that broke out at the hotel.
Braide had said when the police arrived at the scene, the boys were rushed to the hospital where they eventually died.
“There was a stampede at Dele Hotel where they were holding an end-of-the-year party around 11pm on December 14. Hoodlums engaged in a fight with machetes and bottles. Moses Aiyenuro was slashed on the neck. A team of policemen from Ijora Badia Police Station rushed to the scene and rescued him, Ikenna and another unconscious person.
“Moses was confirmed dead at the hospital. Hoodlums attacked the police station demanding the release of their colleagues and five suspects were arrested.”
However, a medical report signed by Dr. Durojaiye of the Lagos Island General Hospital, stated that Ikenna was shot in both legs.
PUNCH Metro also learnt that Moses, whose corpse was deposited at Mainland Hospital, Yaba, was killed by a bullet that pierced through his neck and collar bone, and not a machete cut as claimed by the police.
When our correspondent visited the family of the two slain boys on Sunday, sympathisers were seen consoling the family.
Ikenna’s father, Mr. Michael Onyeizu, told our correspondent that with the loss of his son, life had become unbearable.
He said, “I am 50-years-old and I am an umbrella repairer; Ikenna was my only son and I have just one daughter left. He was neither a trouble maker nor a thief. I have struggled all my life and it was my hope that he would bring me out of poverty, but police killed him.
“He just finished secondary school and he was working as a waiter in a nearby hotel to support me. After he was killed, I went to the station to find out what happened, but I was chased out and the policeman on duty even threatened to detain me.
“I don’t have money to pay any lawyer; but I want justice and money to bury my son.”
When our correspondent visited the family house of Moses, his mother and pregnant wife were seen crying.
Moses’s mother said, “This is the second son that I will be losing. Moses was not a cult member. He did not drink or smoke. Police have been embarking on raid, arresting innocent people, and demanding money from them before they are released. Moses just got married last month and his wife is pregnant.”
A friend of the deceased, who craved anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case, told our correspondent that Moses was shot at close range.
He identified some of the killer policemen as Soji and Emma.
He said, “We were having fun at the party when some hoodlums started fighting over a girl. Policemen had been hired by the hotel to provide protection that day, but they went on a drinking spree. When the fight started, they came back and started shooting, but by then, those fighting had fled.
“Among the policemen, I saw Soji and Emma shooting and one of the bullets hit Ikenna on the legs. Moses and I carried Ikenna to the police station to get a police report so that we could take him to a hospital for treatment, but they started shooting at us again so we fled.
“One of the policemen grabbed Moses by the shirt and shot him at close range and killed him. They put his body in a patrol vehicle and beat me and I fell unconscious.”
Moses’s elder sister, Funmilayo, who also witnessed the incident, said she pleaded with the policemen to leave her brother but she was pushed into a gutter where she remained unconscious only to wake up to hear that her brother was dead.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the Office of the Public Defender, a department under the Lagos State Ministry of Justice had taken over the case.
The Secretary, Lagos Marginalised Communities Forum, Ishola Agbodemu, berated the police over the killing of the two youths.
Agbodemu accused the police of high-handedness and urged the government to ensure that the killer cops were brought to book.
Braide promised to respond to the new development, but did not call back as of the time of going to the press.