The Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Agency (LNSA) has set up an eight-man investigation panel to probe its official, Olawale Okoya, for allegedly stabbing a 27-year-old party guest, Adelakun Quam, during a brawl in Lagos Island Local Government.
LNSA said that the decision to inaugurate an eight-man panel was to ensure a thorough investigation was done on the issue that occurred at the 15th-anniversary party to remember late Ishola Laguda’s father in Bamgbose axis of Lagos Island and make appropriate recommendations to the agency.
The panel was set up by the agency on Wednesday if Okoya truly stabbed the victim, who was said to be on admission at the Lagos Island Hospital, beside his eyes socket or not, after claiming that his baton mistakenly hit Quam while trying to defend himself.
The panel was constituted barely three days after Okoya was said to have allegedly stabbed Quam, a guest at the party where the Neighbourhood official was rendering his services to the party organisers.
In a statement released by the agency, the LNSA headquarters distance the Corps from the action, stressing that the standard procedure for deployment of its officers for any assignment as stipulated by the Agency’s standard operating procedures was not followed in Okoya’s case.
According to the statement, the standard practice is for citizens requiring the services of the Agency to communicate their desire in writing to the Headquarters of the Agency from where approval is communicated formally to the Command responsible for such deployment.
“This was not followed and subject to the above, the Agency is termed to be unaware of the deployment and subsequently could not account for the actions or inactions of the Officer in question.
“That there is a need to ascertain the real facts of the incident with a view to dealing with the matter appropriately. In this regard, an ad hoc investigation panel has been instituted to conduct a thorough investigation and make appropriate recommendations to the Agency.
“The incident is unpalatable and the Agency expresses its deepest unhappiness at it, while it wishes to implore the general public to kindly remain calm pending the completion of the investigation in order to ensure justice is served”.
Earlier at the party, it was learnt that Quam had an altercation with Okoya and his colleague at the party’s entrance after the neighbourhood official denied him access to the venue.
A resident, Lateef Shonibare, who witnessed the incident, narrated that the victim, who stepped out of the venue, was returning to the premises when Okoya and his partner denied him access, even after he proved that he only stepped out from the venue to address an issue.
And due to both parties already under the influence of alcohol, Shonibare added that the victim tried to force his way into the premises and suddenly, both neighbourhood officials started beating him.
“While trying to fight back, Quam tried to lift an iron rod at the entrance but unfortunately, he was unable to do so due to the weight. Realizing that he was trying to do this, the official pounced on him and hit him with their baton about four times.
“Realising that the officials would continue to attack him, Quam quickly picked a bottle, broke it, and tried using the bottle for self-defense and this prompted Okoya and his colleague to leave the scene.
“When I realised that he could not see, I went close to him, collected the bottle from him, and asked that he should be treated to avoid losing excessive blood. This could have been prevented if both the LNSA officials and Quam were not under the influence of alcohol”.
Meanwhile, a source, who listened to Okoya’s narration, told Town Crier News Nigeria that the LNSA official insisted that he never stabbed the victim and that his baton mistakenly hit him on his face while trying to defend himself.
The source added that Okoya left the scene to a police station in Lagos Island to report the incident and take shelter there after some youths allegedly tried to attack him as avenge Quam’s injury.
He maintained that Okoya never abscond as been reported publicly, even as he alleged that the claims emanated after some youths, who were said to be Quam’s friends, stormed the LNSA official’s apartment and could not find him nor the mother.
According to him, they ransacked Okoya’s house when they did not find him and allegedly made away with some cash which have not been refunded to him,
Also, the organiser of the party popularly called Lago, who was said to be a former neighbourhood official, explained that the presence of Okoya and his colleague was not to fight anyone but to prevent uninvited guests from gaining access to the party venue.
Speaking with LAGO “I invited the Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps(LNSC) not just to secure the vicinity but also to prevent uninvited guests from entering the event because it was strictly by invitation.
“I was in the building when the incident happened, I heard a loud noise outside and I felt it was an accident that happened but when I came outside I discovered that Quam was stabbed, he said.
“We rushed him to a nearby chemist and it was beyond their health facilities and we immediately took him to Lagos Island general hospital, Odan where his currently receiving treatment