Man Crushed To Death During Police Stop And Search Infront Of His Wife

Four policemen have been arrested in Lagos for mounting an illegal checkpoint at the Mile 2 end of the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and conducting unapproved stop-and-search.It was gathered that during the exercise, a tanker ran over a businessman, Mr. Henry Dimoji.

Information learnt that Dimoji, who was returning with his wife, Linda, from a public function, had been asked by the police to stop for a search when the incident occurred.

It was gathered that 48-year-old Dimoji, who hailed from Imo State, and his wife were returning from a wake keep in the FESTAC Town area in a Honda car.

It was gathered that the policemen, reportedly attached to the Rapid Response Squad, Ikeja, had allegedly refused to allow Dimoji to park properly by the roadside, insisting that he came down to open his booth for the search.

It was learnt that an oncoming tanker, said to be carrying diesel, hit the businessman and dragged him on the road. The policemen were said to have avoided the tanker.

Information learnt that Linda had called on the officers and passersby for help, but the officers allegedly fled the scene.

It was gathered that the matter, which occurred at about 7.30pm last Thursday, April 30, was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, while the policemen had been arrested.

Our correspondent learnt that the truck driver and his conductor had also been arrested by the police.

It was further learnt that the SCID was still searching for two policemen, who were also with the patrol team during the incident.

When PUNCH Metro visited the deceased’s residence on Okey Dimoji Drive in the Anthony Village area of Lagos, a relative, who identified himself simply as Frank, said Dimoji’s death was shocking to the family.

He said, “When Dimoji got to the checkpoint, the policemen asked him to park and open his booth, but they did not allow him to park properly. He told them to allow him to park when one of them brought out a gun and threatened to shoot if Dimoji disobeyed.

“He then came out of the car to talk to the officers. Hardly had he come down when the trailer approached. The trailer driver, who was probably aware of the illegal checkpoint, tried to speed past the policemen. In the process, the trailer hit Dimoji in the thigh and dragged on the road for a few metres.

“When the policemen saw this, they entered their van and fled. The wife started screaming and calling for help. It was even the trailer driver and the conductor who stopped and assisted to rush him to a hospital.

“We have been to the SCID, and the police boss assured us that justice would be done on the matter. I saw the policemen that mounted the illegal checkpoint. They do not deserve to be in the Nigeria Police Force.”

A friend of the deceased, who identified himself simply as Sola, told our correspondent that Dimoji still called him on Thursday to plan a media event.

“He was a very industrious man. He had huge investments in Courier services, Telecommunications, Designs and media relations. The police should fish out all the culprits and bring them to book,” he said.

Our correspondent observed a condolence register opened for the businessman, and a number of sympathisers who also visited the house.

The deceased’s wife was unavailable for comment as of the time of visit.

The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the incident, adding that investigations were ongoing on the matter.

He said, “What the police are investigating is a case of a fatal accident, and the culpability of the officers in the incident. Two officers are in custody over the matter, and investigations are ongoing.

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