A yet-to-be-identified soldier has allegedly stabbed a ticket agent, Ibrahim Ikudaisi, aka Guardian, to death over N100 ticket in the Oshodi area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Ikudaisi was visiting stores to demand N100 levy from different traders in a market in Oshodi when one of the traders refused to pay him.
The trader’s refusal to oblige to Ikudaisi’s request reportedly led to an argument and in the process, the soldier intervened to prevent the ticket agent from collecting the money from the trader.
It was learnt that the argument degenerated and in the process, the soldier brought out a knife and allegedly stabbed Ikudaisi in the chest.
An eyewitness, Adenike Ajayi, who spoke to our correspondent during a visit to the scene of the attack, said the impact of the attack made Ikudaisi fall to the ground, adding that the soldier took to his heels upon realising that the ticket agent had lost consciousness.
Ajayi said, “Ikudaisi is a popular person in this part of Oshodi. Everybody knows him and his nickname is ‘Guardian’. He is the one that collects daily ticket levies from all of us that are traders here.”
“He was here yesterday (Tuesday) around 11am and we had all collected our daily tickets from him when he got into an argument with a lady who refused to pay for the ticket.”
“As they were arguing, a soldier came and tried to force Ikudaisi to not let the lady pay for the daily N100 ticket. Suddenly, it got to a point that the soldier brought out his knife and stabbed Ikudaisi in the chest.”
Ajayi said the soldier fled to the Cantonment at Charity, where other soldiers came to his rescue, adding that Ikudaisi died due to the injuries he sustained during the attack.
“He was buried at his family compound in Lagos Island this morning. Army officers were around this place in the morning and they told us that they have arrested the soldier but we did not believe them because nobody was there to witness the arrest,” the trader said.
Another trader, Adeniji Olawole, told our correspondent that efforts by people in the market to apprehend the soldier proved abortive, adding that security agents were fond of perpetrating such injustice against the people in the market.
He said, “Though I was not around when the argument between Ikudaisi and the soldier started, I saw him after he was stabbed and lying in a pool of blood. Many people came out to help him while some others pursued the soldier when he ran away.“
“Unfortunately, he was not caught because he ran into the cantonment and soldiers prevented those who ran after him from getting to him. In this Oshodi, police and army just beat and kill people for small matters that anger them. They should understand that we are also Nigerians like them. The death of Ikudaisi is a needless one. The soldier just wasted a precious life.”
An officer of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, who preferred to remain anonymous for security reasons, told our correspondent that when Ikudaisi was stabbed, some of his friends rushed him to the hospital as he gasped for breath.
Contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, said, “I am not aware of this situation; I will contact you as soon as any information concerning this matter is available to me.”
Reacting to the development, the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Olabisi Ayeni, said the army was aware of the matter, adding that an investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident had commenced.
He said, “I am aware of the incident. It was an attack by hoodlums on the soldier. Efforts are ongoing to further unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident.“
“However, hope you are aware that troops of the 9 Brigade Nigerian Army recently raided the Oshodi area where over 116 suspected hoodlums were arrested. Items recovered include locally-made pistols, local charms, Indian hemp and tramadol, amongst others.”
However, cases of civilians including policemen losing their lives to attacks by soldiers have become common in the state.
Sometime in August 2022, an Inspector serving with the Lagos State Police Command, Orukpe Monday, was reportedly tortured to death by soldiers in the Trade Fair area of the state. Also, at Ogombo, in the Eti-Osa Local Government Area of the state, a civilian was killed when a man, Richard Ekpo, engaged the services of soldiers to stop the burial of his late father sometime in November 2022.
Reacting, a lawyer, Todimu Ige, said it was the duty of soldiers to safeguard the territory of the country, adding that the reverse was the case in Nigeria. He said, “The right to life is enshrined in the Nigerian constitution and it is only the court that has the right to terminate the life of an individual. A person (Ikudaisi) has been murdered and the police should investigate it and bring the culprit to face the law.”
“The duty of the military is to safeguard the territorial integrity of the nation and there should not be any reason for a civilian to have anything to do with a soldier. But what we are seeing is the opposite, in Nigeria.”
@ Punch Newspaper