Seaport operations at the Lagos Ports Complex (LPC) was brought to a halt on Wednesday morning when a mobile policeman attached to Diamond Bank located at Creek road shot and killed a truck driver simply identified as Tunde for refusing to part with a token of N200 as bribe.
This is even as irate truckers burnt Diamond bank and Sterling bank, both located at Creek road in the ensuing concussion.
The truck with registration number AGL222XC was on the queue amongst other trucks who were trying to gain access into the ports to either lift containers or drop empty containers.
After shooting the truck driver, and seeing that he was dead, the mobile policeman ran into a nearby Sterling Bank when he was chased by irate truckers who had mobilised to avenge the death of their colleague.
In the ensuing melee, the two banks, Diamond Bank and Sterling Bank were torched by irate truckers. This forced several other banks in Apapa to close for the day, forcing most port users to look elsewhere for banks to make financial transactions.
Also, many vehicles belonging go staffs of both banks had their windscreens smashed. A shipping company beside Diamond bank, Bollore Shipping was not spared as its front glasses were also smashed by the angry truck drivers.
Speaking to the Nigerian Tribune exclusively at the scene of the confusion, a truck driver by the name Azeez Balogun explained that Sterling Bank was burnt because they refused to handover the mobile policeman who had ran into the bank for cover after killing Tunde.
According to him, “The mobile policeman that killed Tunde was attached to Diamond Bank. He killed Tunde after the deceased refused to give him N200 as bribe to move closer to the ports gate.
“Other drivers chased him, and he ran into Sterling bank. Some other policemen attached to Sterling bank refused to hand him over to the angry truckers, that was why Sterling bank was burnt along with Diamond bank. A truck driver was also shut by a police officer while pouring petrol on the bank.
“Subsequently, Military men and police officers from Area ‘B’ police station were deployed to restore peace and order.
Also speaking with Nigerian Tribune, a staff of Diamond bank who declined not to have his name in print stated that staff of the bank were trapped inside the bank during the riot and the fire.
“Our staff were trapped inside the bank during the chaos, they had to hide inside the vault until the fire fighters came around to put off the fire.
“The fire fighters could not get here with their truck, and this allowed the fire to burn until some of them took bike down here before putting g out the fire,” he explained.
The corpse of the dead truck driver was said to have been deposited at the Apapa General Hospital.
Efforts to get to the Chairman of Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMARTO) Chief Remi Ogungbemi proved abortive as he was said to be in a meeting as at the time of filing in this report.
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