A clash broke out between soldiers and police officers in Ekiti State on Thursday after a policeman reportedly challenged for allegedly extorting money from motorist and causing traffic in the process.
The soldiers stabbed a policeman, Corporal Abdulkadir Yakub, with a jack-knife.
The Punch reportds that Yakub, a Traffic Police Officer, was attacked after he challenged the soldiers for extorting money from motorists and causing gridlock.
The young soldiers, who were 17 in number, were said to have just returned from the Governor’s Office, where they had gone to visit Governor Ayodele Fayose. But it was learnt that the governor was not around to receive them.
The soldiers took to the streets and stopped vehicles at the Fajuyi Roundabout to extort money from motorists and motorcyclists.
A police officer, Corporal Monday Agom, who was on duty with the victim when the incident occurred at about 2pm, said Yakub was attacked by the soldiers after he pleaded with them not to cause gridlock during their alleged extortion.
Agom said, “One of the soldiers stopped a man in mufti, who happened to be a policeman, right in his car and demanded his car key, while Yakub was trying to pass him to allow for the next person in line, so as to free traffic, which was already building up.
“Yakub then explained to him (the attacker) that the man he stopped was a police officer and that he should allow him to go as stopping him there would cause traffic.
“This statement infuriated the soldier, who immediately slapped Yakub, before bringing out a jack-knife, with which he started stabbing him.
“Then, I joined other people to rescue Yakub from the soldier, who had started shouting, ‘I will kill you, idiot,’ even as his colleagues (soldiers) had started punching Yakub, who was already soaked in blood.”
The mobile policemen, whose station was close to the scene, were said to have mobilised to the scene and attacked the soldier in return.
It was learnt that one of the soldiers also sustained head injuries in the fracas.
The Officer in Charge of Army Operations in Ekiti, Captain Joshua Zoaka, who went to the scene, was not spared in the attack.
His team was said to have been attacked with tear gas by the policemen.
Another eyewitness confirmed that Yakub had been on duty, controlling traffic, before the soldiers came around 2pm and started stopping motorists and passersby.