- Title: NIGERIA: Soldiers riot after altercation over bribe demanded by police officer
- Date: 5th October 2005
- Summary: VARIOUS OF FIRE AT AREA 'C' POLICE BARRACK (2 SHOTS) CROWD RUNNING ON STREET
- Embargoed: 20th October 2005 13:00
- Location: Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,Defence / Military
- Reuters ID: LVA5W17MKPL6OK1VNO2VDC7JVERC
- Story Text: Nigerian soldiers rioted on Tuesday (October 4) after a policeman demanded a bribe from a soldier in Lagos. Dozens of Nigerian soldiers set fire to a police station, cars and part of a police barracks after a fight broke out.
An army spokesman said the brawl started when a soldier on a motorcycle taxi refused to pay a 20-naira (15 U.S. cent) bribe to pass a police checkpoint outside the Ojuelegba police station in central Lagos. It was the latest in a series of confrontations between the Nigerian military, which ruled the oil exporting country for decades, and the police, a poorly paid force better known for extortion than preventing or solving crimes.
Witnesses, including one soldier at the scene, said fighting escalated when a soldier went to a nearby army barracks for reinforcements who then disarmed the police, overpowered the police station and set fire to it. Many of the soldiers believed one of their men had been shot. An army spokesman said the police beat up two soldiers after they refused to pay the bribe but no one was shot, and he blamed the arson on others who took advantage of the mayhem.
He said it was the work of hoodlums. Calm was restored when senior military officers appeared on the scene.
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