Petrol Scarcity: How Lagos Resident Was Shot Dead During Struggle For Fuel

    Toheeb Eniafe...mauled down...
    Toheeb Eniafe...mauled down...

    The family of a young man, Toheeb Eniafe, has been thrown into mourning after he was shot at a petrol station belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited at Obalende in the Ikoyi area of  Lagos State.

    The incident, our correspondent learnt, happened late Wednesday and has left residents in the area in fear.

    Our correspondent, who is currently at the scene of the incident gathered from residents that Eniafe was in the queue to get petrol when the incident happened.

    While on the queue, two men, believed to be military officers, attempted to drive into the station to buy petrol even though they were not in the queue to get the product.

    This, our correspondent learnt, was met with stiff resistance from people in the queue; many of whom had been waiting for hours.

    Several eyewitnesses confirmed that Eniafe spearheaded the argument, telling the men to join the queue like everyone else.

    This further degenerated into a fisticuff and the eventual death of the young man after one of the men shot him and fled the scene.

    Nigerians have been struggling to buy fuel in the last few days.

    The scarcity has led to an increase in transport fares and queues at various filling stations selling the product.

    A resident, who gave his name as Mr. Amos Ayo, who said he witnessed the incident, alleged that the officers were from the Department of State Services as they had their branded polo shirts.

    Ayo narrated, “I saw them. They are men of the DSS. They came to the scene to buy fuel but refused to join the queue.

    “That is what they always do. It was not Toheeb’s turn yet but he confronted them, asking them to join the queue or be polite about the way they went about the purchase.

    “One of them was so impatient. He slapped Toheeb and he retaliated with more words. Before we could know it, we heard gunshots and Toheeb fell to the ground.”

    A woman who said she was clearing up her alcoholic bitters stand close to the station but refused to give her name for security reasons, told our correspondent that she heard the gunshot at about 9.30 p.m. and fled the scene.

    She said, “I did not even wait to see what was happening. I ran as fast as I could before any stray bullet will hit me. But, I heard from the people who were there that it was two soldiers.

    “They are not policemen. One shot the young man and ran away. I learnt they caught one but he still managed to escape eventually.”

    Also speaking, a young man who gave his name as Capo told PUNCH Online that he knew the deceased.

    “This place (Obalende) is a very small place. Everybody knows everybody. Toheeb stays in the Dolphin Estate area. He is a Muslim. He is supposed to be buried today but his body has been taken by the police to the morgue for investigation and possibly autopsy,” he said.

    Asked whether he was at the scene of the crime, Capo said, “Of course, I was there. I saw it with my own eyes. We were the ones who pursued the men that did the crime but one of them shot his gun in the air and people ran away. That was the way he could escape.

    “One hid under a bus so we set it on fire. He also ran away. We initially thought they were policemen but they are not. I can tell you that for free. Just imagine how they have taken the life of that young man now for nothing.”

    Another young man who spoke on condition of anonymity because of his safety also said he was at the scene.

    “I was at Obalende. I was coming back from work. I can tell you that the shooter is not a policeman but a DSS officer who came to buy fuel but was stopped by Toheeb and his friends.

    “They told him that he must join the queue. The man, from what I learnt, told them that the manager was aware of his coming but Toheeb and some other men refused him entry.

    “Some guys in the area broke a bottle and were about to attack the officer during the argument and that was when the shots were fired, and they ran away,” he said.

    The man added, “They burnt two vehicles yesterday. I was so scared as I walked home that night because there were no buses. Everyone was scared. Even the long queue dispersed and the station was closed.”

    Efforts by our correspondent to reach the branch manager of the station to speak were abortive, as his staff members said he was not around and that no one was authorised to speak on his behalf.

    However, a young staff, whom our correspondent convinced to speak, said military officers, veterans and the aged were given preferential treatment during fuel purchases.

    “Whenever there is a scarcity like this, we prioritise military men and the like. That is one thing Nigerians need to know. Our manager was aware they were coming and told us to open the gate for them but the people in the queue were just not cooperative,” he said.


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