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Lagos CP Visits Teenager Hit By Teargas Canister, Orders Investigation

The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Adegoke Fayoade, has ordered a detailed investigation into the incident of a 12-year-old Aminat Alege allegedly hit by a teargas canister fired by officers of Dopemu Division.

The officers allegedly fired the teargas while responding to public disturbance by students of Abibat Mogaji Millenium Secondary School Iloro and Iloro Junior Grammar School Iloro both in the Dopemu area of the state on Friday, 9th of February, 2024.

A statement released by the state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, on Friday noted that Fayoade made this known during a visit to the victim in the hospital.

Hundeyin added that the outcome of the probe would be made available to members of the public.

“The Lagos State Police Command assures the general public that the investigation will be comprehensive and no attempt whatsoever will be made at a cover-up; while equally assuring that any police officer found culpable in the matter will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” the statement added.

It was gathered that one of the canisters said to have been shot indiscriminately by the police hit Alege in the face, damaging one of her eyes in the process.

Narrating the incident, an eyewitness said the junior class student was immediately rushed to the hospital.

The eyewitness who craved anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the incident said, “Some Secondary School Students of  Iloro Secondary School were fighting within themselves when some of the students went to Alabode Police Station to report the matter and the  DPO sent four officers to visit the school to calm the situation.

“But when the policemen got there, they started to shoot teargas at the students anyhow. Aminat was just about to enter the mosque situated next to the school compound to observe the Friday Jumat Prayer when one of the canisters hit her in the eye. All these happened after school hours.”

The victim’s mother, Halimat, said her daughter’s colleagues rushed to her shop to inform her about the incident.

She also accused the police officers of dumping her child at the hospital they took her to.

She said, “When my daughter’s colleagues came to tell me that the police shot a tear gas canister into her eye, I rushed down to the hospital where she was taken.

“When I got there, I was told that the police brought her there and left immediately. We were later referred to Lagos State Teaching Hospital where the doctors told us that they would carry out a series of surgeries and the first one would cost N850,000. We don’t have any money with us. The DPO later visited and gave us N50,000. I am helpless at the moment. My daughter is fighting for her life.”

Reacting, the state assembly called on the Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, and the ministry to offer necessary support to the young girl.

This was contained in a statement by Eromosele Ebhomele, the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, on Thursday.

Ebhomele noted that the matter was brought to the attention of the House by the chairman of the House Committee on Sports and Youth Development, Abiodun Orekoya, during a plenary session presided over by Deputy Speaker Mojisola Meranda.

Orekoya said he received the information through a human rights organisation, adding that the incident happened when two schools were embroiled in a clash and the police intervened with tear gas.

“He said the student’s parents have been borrowing money to pay for her treatment and that she is currently admitted to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.

“Orekoya pleaded with the House to call on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to offer support to the parents and help save Amina’s life before the situation worsens,” the statement said.

It added that the Deputy Speaker directed the Chairman of the House Committee on Education (Secondary) to summon the management of both schools involved in the clash and investigate what led to the clash while expecting its report within a week.

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