There was confusion on Monday in Arepo, in the Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, after some officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps were attacked and their uniforms torn.
It was learnt that the officials had trailed a motorist into the community around 11am for allegedly violating a traffic rule. The motorist was reported to have driven into his compound and locked the gate. The officials, however, were said to have tried to force their way in and enforce his arrest.
Residents of the area were said to have pounced on the men, leading to a free-for-all. A witness, who did not identify himself, said the officers and some of the residents’ sustained injuries during the fracas.
He said, “The FRSC officers trailed the man from the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to Arepo in their patrol van. He drove into his compound and they still tried to follow him, but a mechanic challenged them.
“That was what started the fight. The mechanic, who was huge and well-built, beat up one of the officers and tore his uniform. He was looking for a weapon to attack him when people restrained him.
“Other residents also hit some officers with blows. When the FRSC officers became overwhelmed, they began looking for escape routes. One of them jumped into a swamp through a fence and injured himself. Another officer, who did not want his uniform torn, quickly removed it and put it in his bag. There was confusion everywhere.”
Another witness, who also did not give his name, said the traffic officers called for the support of some navy men, who were passing in their truck at the time.
The naval men were said to have stormed the scene to arrest all those involved in the affray.
“The FRSC officers were boasting that they would make sure those guys suffered. But as the navy men were about taking them away, some soldiers arrived at the scene.
“A senior officer ordered that the FRSC officers get out of the community. He also ordered the naval officers to leave. None of them objected. That was how the matter was resolved,” the witness said.
A resident, Biodun Ogunjimi, said the FRSC officers were at fault for attempting to force the arrest of the motorist after he had entered his house.
The Head of Operations, Federal Road Safety Corps, Mowe Unit, Yusuf Olagunju, denied that his men were involved in the fracas.
“They are not my men. They are probably from the Lagos command. Officers from Ikeja, Ojodu units do patrol that area as well. It is not my command at all; nothing happened to my men,” he said.