Nigeria tollgate shootings create havoc in major city

Nigerian judicial panel has called on authorities to crack down on gangs who have killed hundreds of people in traffic gridlocks across Lagos, a northeastern city where deadly shootings have become a regular event,…

Nigeria tollgate shootings create havoc in major city

Nigerian judicial panel has called on authorities to crack down on gangs who have killed hundreds of people in traffic gridlocks across Lagos, a northeastern city where deadly shootings have become a regular event, a judicial official said on Thursday.

Trouble began when a convoy from the Lekki toll gates, a large bridge connecting the city’s two parts, entered traffic which had been caught up in a deadly gridlock on Saturday and stormed an intersection to shoot and stab motorists.

The toll gates, which carry tolls for the services they provide, have been attacked by desperate drivers who feel the fees are excessive.

“The toll gate shooting is just killing our people, our people are running away, just killing and killing and killing… We are concerned over this,” one Lekki resident said in a video taken immediately after the incident.

The toll gates pass through areas which are a main source of employment for young men such as the Overtimes and Ogunmufo entertainment districts, for which seasonal industries such as lice removal, okada (motorcycle taxis) hire and beauticians are practiced.

On Wednesday, Nigeria’s High Court in Lagos sentenced and jailed six men for similar crimes.

Lagos is a megacity of more than 22 million people whose population is likely to grow by another eight million by 2035, according to the World Bank.

The Lekki toll gates charge about $40 (36,000 naira) a year for either a car or boat (three-person boat) or $60 (41,000 naira) for a truck and some residents do not pay their toll fees because of the large costs involved.

In a statement on the police website, Commissioner Fatai Owoseni said investigations in the shooting in the early hours of February 15 were ongoing.

The toll gates, which charge about $40 (36,000 naira) a year for either a car or boat (three-person boat) or $60 (41,000 naira) for a truck and some residents do not pay their toll fees because of the large costs involved.

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