There was confusion on the premises of the Nigeria Police College, Ikeja, Lagos on Wednesday afternoon, when a sergeant slumped during the parade and died some minutes later.
It was learnt that the sergeant, whose name had yet to be known, was one of the policemen undergoing the promotional course to the rank of Inspector. It was also learnt that the incident occurred on the parade ground in front of the officers’ mess at the advance wing of the college.
Our correspondent, who visited the parade ground, learnt that the sergeant slumped around 12pm. His colleagues at the parade were said to have battled to save his life to no avail as he gave up the ghost 15 minutes later.
It was gathered that the sergeant’s corpse had been deposited at the morgue of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.
While at the college, a female sergeant who craved anonymity told journalists that an ambulance from LASUTH came to convey the deceased’s body from the parade ground.
She said, “The deceased used to play around the college. This morning, it was not yet the turn of his unit for inspection so he was standing under one of the trees, as they waited for their turn. Suddenly, he slumped.
“Some minutes later, he was already gone. An ambulance from LASUTH was called but it about 30 minutes before it came, his corpse was laid under the tree, covered with clothes.”
A trader at the parade ground, who claimed to have witnessed the incident, explained how the sergeant’s friends battled for his life.
The trader, who identified herself only as Caroline, said, “Immediately the policeman slumped, one of his friends named Ayuba, rushed to him, removed his belt and tried to do a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Others were also fanning him. But as this went on, the sergeant’s breathing became heavier, and he began to gasp. Minutes later, he tilted his head to one side and became still.
“A nurse at the cottage hospital then came out to test him, and she was the one who confirmed that he was dead, and they sent for an ambulance from LASUTH.”
While our correspondent was at the parade, the policemen were overheard expressing shock at the sergeant’s death. While some believed he slumped as a result of habitual drunkenness, others claimed he was overcome by stress.
At the LASUTH morgue, an official said the sergeant’s corpse was at the Surgical Emergency Section. At the emergency section, a security official noted that he observed two policemen being wheeled into the section that afternoon.
He said, “I observed two policemen at different times being wheeled in this afternoon. One of them must have been the one who slumped and died.”
The Commandant of the college, CP Tunde Sobulo, could not be reached for comment as his two lines were switched off as of press time.