Lagos shooting raises more questions

Image copyright AFP Image caption Residents here said they heard about the shooting in the late afternoon

More questions have been raised about the shooting of a teenage boy in Lagos.

BBC World Service contributor Arthur Campbell-Irby has reviewed footage from a security camera near the tollgate – Lekki Link Bridge – which was used to rush passers-by to save the boy, Eti-Osa, from harm.

In the video – obtained by the BBC – cars can be seen quickly forming a human chain, before driving away and Eti-Osa was shot dead.

Speaking to me from New York, Arthur said the footage raised numerous questions about why the boy was killed.

“This isn’t the action of a person simply trying to protect himself,” he told me.

“We’re told he was trying to grab a policeman’s gun – but his very best friend who was there, who has corroborated all this, his key eyewitness, says he didn’t try to take the gun.

“Clearly, he was being chased by policemen and shot in the back.”

Image copyright AFP Image caption The shooting took place near the tollgate at Lekki Link Bridge, a sprawling housing estate near the Lagos Lagoon

The friend has named Eti-Osa’s shooting as the second occasion on the same day in which he claimed the same policeman shot his friend.

“He was shot in the back, just below the ribs, four times, and once on the chest,” said the friend, who asked not to be named.

“I ran alongside the vehicle that had brought him down and I tried to try to revive him.”

Arthur said the friends’ version of events was consistent with the CCTV footage.

Lagos State Police Commissioner Imohimi Edgal admitted earlier on Monday that the 16-year-old was shot, but said it was “unnatural” that he was shot at four times.

He has also said police acted “entirely in self-defence” but the autopsy report found the boy was shot in the back and the chest.

“I can confirm that the boy was shot on the back and his death certificate was signed by pathologist attached to the mortuary, where the boy’s body was deposited,” Mr Edgal said.

The state’s top police official also announced he would be offering an N8m ($20,000) reward for anybody who helps catch the policemen responsible for the shooting.

Arthur said he doubted whether it would lead to a significant breakthrough.

“I doubt very much that it will solve anything,” he said.

“If this officer actually took aim, and fired at this 16-year-old, chances are he will not regret shooting him, so no matter how large the reward, I don’t think it will be the answer.”

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