There was pandemonium at the Agodi Gate area of Ibadan, Oyo State, on Tuesday, following a clash between some motorcyclists and warders at the Agodi Correctional Centre.
The clash led to the burning of the Idi Ogungun Police Outstation by some angry youths, while another police station opposite the centre was reportedly damaged.
Our correspondent gathered that a motorcyclist was shot by one of the warders, but some eyewitnesses claimed that the teargas canister, which the warder held, exploded and injured the motorcyclist in the face.
Some of the traders, who have shops in the area, told our correspondent that the victim was shot by the prison officials following his refusal to pay a bribe of N50.
One of the traders, Dauda Abegunrin, told our correspondent that prison warders always extort okada riders, who usually park close to the facility to pick passengers.
The alleged shooting of the motorcyclist was said to have angered his colleagues and youths in the area, who made bonfires on the road, which made motorists to avoid the area.
This reportedly caused pandemonium as commuters, motorists and passers-by ran helter-skelter.
Abegunrin said, “One of the warders demanded N50 from an okada rider, but that one said he could not give a bribe because he was a Muslim. The warder later dragged him inside and shot him. This led to a crisis in the area.”
Another trader in the area claimed that the refusal of the okada rider to give the warder the N50 bribe caused the clash.
It was not clear if the motorcyclist died or he was just injured, but some people said he had been taken to hospital.
Policemen and operatives of the Operation Burst, comprising soldiers and other security agents, were deployed in the area to restore normalcy following the violence.
Efforts to speak to the Public Relations Officer of the correctional centre, Lanre Anjonrin, were unsuccessful as he did not answer calls placed to his telephone and had yet to reply messages sent to him on the issue.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Olugbenga Fadeyi, said policemen and other security agents were deployed in the area to prevent hoodlums from seizing the opportunity of the clash to attack the prison.
He confirmed that one police station in the area was burnt, while another was damaged.
The PPRO stated, “Contrary to the currently trending news online that policemen fired shots, leading to injury at the Agodi Gate area this morning, the truth is that there was a clash between officers of the correctional service and okada riders stationed at Agodi Gate.
“Upon the receipt of this information, policemen as well as other security agents moved to the scene to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order that could lead to coordinated attacks on the prison facility.
“The Idi Ogungun Police Outstation was burnt, while the Agodi 2 Station opposite the correctional centre was damaged.”