There was pandemonium at the Owode area of Ikorodu, Lagos State on Saturday after five persons died in a lagoon while attempting to escape police arrest.
The death of the deceased sparked off protest among the youths in the area, who took to the streets, chanting war songs.
The youths, who blamed the police for the death of their friends, on Saturday morning made a beeline for the Owode Police Station and attempted to set it ablaze.
The move was repelled by the police.
It was gathered that at least five persons were feared dead, while some are still missing after policemen from the Owode Police Division, Ikorodu area of Lagos State, stormed different black spots on Friday.
It was gathered that the police carried out the raids after receiving a tip-off about some Indian hemp joints in the area.
A police source: “The raid was carried out after the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko, received a petition from members of the community that robbers were disturbing them in the area.
“The community members had also fingered many of the Indian hemp smoking and selling joints in the area.
“Five of the suspects died after jumping into the lagoon when they saw the police and started running.
“Nobody killed them.”
Eyewitnesses’ accounts revealed that immediately the police got to the area, some of the hoodlums, in an attempt to escape police arrest, jumped into a nearby lagoon and drowned.
Although the bodies of the five people are yet to be recovered as at Saturday, 27 of the Indian hemp traders and smokers are presently in police custody.
Confirming the incident, the spokesperson, Lagos State Police Command, DSP Ngozi Braide, said that three people were believed to have jumped into the lagoon.
Braide, however, said no one was sure if there was any casualty as no body had been recovered.
She said: “Police did not shoot or kill anybody!
“What happened was that policemen from Owode Police Station carried out a raid of black spots in that area.
“Some of the suspects jumped into the lagoon while trying to escape.
“This morning (Saturday), some men came to Owode Police Station, saying that two or three of them jumped into the lagoon and died when police came to raid.
“They had attempted to set the station ablaze but we were able to contain them.
“The truth is that we don’t really know the number of persons that jumped into the lagoon or died because we’ve not recovered any corpse.
“There was no police shooting.
“It was purely raids of hide out.”