The ongoing protest at the Circle Mall, Jakande, in the Lekki area of Lagos State, has taken a tragic turn as a protester has been reportedly shot dead by men of the Nigeria Police Force.
The also learnt that a police van was set ablaze by an angry mob that had stormed the mall.
A video posted on Twitter and confirmed by some residents showed a body on the floor as gunshots rent the air. Another video showed a police van burning.
A third clip filmed by a motorist showed a man masked with a handkerchief wielding a cutlass.
“What is happening? Why are all these boys doing like this? Are they fighting the police or Shopright?” the motorist said.
An actress, Belindah Effah, who was caught in the fracas, claimed that hoodlums had hijacked the protest.
She added that the men had been attacking motorists and called for government’s help.
“Jakande area is very unsafe right now; Area boys everywhere. Everyone ran and left their cars just now. As I was about to run out, the boys carrying machetes and stones told me it’s not me they are after, they are looking for South Africans to kill . These same boys vandalised some cars. I saw one of them stone a car and broke the windshield. After a while, they came to our car and asked for some money. They have blocked the Jakande Road and passengers are so afraid. Nigerian government please come to our aid,” she wrote on Twitter.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said there was calm in the area.
When asked about the online videos, including the one showing the burning police vehicle, he said he was not ready to comment.
Elkana said, “Everywhere is calm. It is not now that it is burning (the police vehicle). You asked about the situation now, and I said it is calm.
“I don’t have the figure (of casualty) and I don’t want to comment on it. This is a sensitive issue. I don’t want to escalate it or speculate also.”