A drunk policeman, Stephen James, on Saturday shot and killed three men at a hotel in the Ketu area of Lagos State. He shot and killed twin brothers identified as Taiwo and Kehinde Oyesunle (who were the only children of their mother) and their friend known simply as Jeje.
The tragic incident took place outside the premises of Paulson Hotel on Anibaba Street around 4:20pm.
According to eyewitnesses, trouble started when the police sergeant Stephen James threatened to shoot customers if they failed to buy him an alcoholic drink. The policeman, who was said to be a habitual smoker of marijuana, became upset when the twins- Taiwo and Kehinde and their friend, Jeje – cautioned him about his excessive drinking and advised him to act like a responsible policeman.
According to eyewitness account, as the trio stepped outside the hotel premises where they had gone to celebrate Jeje‘s birthday, the Policeman shot and killed them. When he realized what he had done,the policeman reportedly shot himself in the chest.
A guest at the hotel, who witnessed the killings, told SUNDAY PUNCH that the policeman had boasted about wanting to kill people hours before the incident happened.
The customer, who identified himself only as Femi, said all efforts to pacify the policeman proved abortive as he kept fomenting trouble and harassing visitors with his gun all afternoon.
“I was in the bar when the policeman first came in and threatened to shoot customers if they failed to buy him drinks. He boasted that he felt like killing someone today, but other customers and I pleaded with him.
“When the three guys walked in and sat, he went to them and threatened them too. But the guys told him to calm down that they would take care of him but he should comport himself as a responsible police officer.
“Nobody knew he took offence with their statement. The police officer shot the three guys one after the other as they stepped outside the hotel before killing himself. The whole thing happened like a movie,” he said.
Another resident Ladipo Idowu said that the policeman was known to cause trouble in the area.
He said James usually fired his gun indiscriminately and the residents had warned the hotel authorities to caution him.
Another eyewitness, Dada Salawu, said, he was passing by when he saw the policeman and the three friends exchanging words. He said hardly had he left the area when the policeman opened fire on the victims.
A former girlfriend to one of the slain twins told SUNDAY PUNCH that they were the only children of their parents.
The lady, who was inconsolable as she spoke to one of our correspondents, said the twins were still mourning the death of their father who passed away in June 2014 when their lives were cut short.
“I called them very early on Saturday morning not to go outside their compound after I dreamt of seeing blood. I called them again at about 2:00pm to warn them. The twins, however, decided to drive a vehicle a relation had just bought at about 3:00pm. They drove to Paulson Hotel.”
The Sports Utility Vehicle which the victims drove was still parked in front of the hotel.
An angry mob, which later gathered at the scene of the tragedy, attempted to burn down the hotel and destroy properties within its premises.
As irate youths threw bottles and stones at the hotel, lodgers ran out of their rooms with their luggage and fled the scene. The hotel has been reportedly deserted by staff and guests.
The youths also wanted to burn the corpse of the policeman, but policemen, who later got to the scene pleaded with them.
Policemen led by the Divisional Police Officer of the Ketu Police Station arrived at the scene at about 5.30 pm to carry the corpses away.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Joe Offor, confirmed the killings but said he had not yet received the full details of the incident.
DSP Joe Offor said:
“The policeman was on duty at that hotel. He was attached to Mopol 22, Ikeja. He was drunk while on duty and he acted under the influence of alcohol.”