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Opinions of Saturday, 9 April 2022

Columnist: Jimoh Olorede

Nigeria and police brutality

File photo to illustrate the story File photo to illustrate the story

The police are everywhere in Nigeria unleashing ‘injuria’ on Nigerians. They are expected to enforce laws, investigate crimes and make lawful arrests.

But, instead of making laws, they break them; instead of investigating crimes, they commit them, and instead of being arrested for the crimes committed, they are the ones who cynically and ironically make unlawful arrests of innocent Nigerians.

Many police officers in Nigeria are vampires in our empire. They are a scourge. They afflict pains. They cause tribulations which lead to despair that makes people perspire.

The recent groaning and public expression of despair by a prominent traditional ruler in Osun State, The Aragbiji of Iragbiji, Oba Abdur-Rasheed Ayotunde Olabomi, over the gruesome murder of his relative, Saheed Ajibola Olabomi, by a team of policemen on July 27, 2021 in Osogbo, Osun State, is just one out of countless number of cases of innocent Nigerians who unjustly lost their lives to police brutality.

In September last year, 2021, a young girl, Monsurat Ojuade, who had just turned 18, was killed, without committing any offence, by a police officer, who shot her through the gate in Lagos. According to the Nigeria Director of Amnesty International, Osai Ojigho, “Evidence gathered by Amnesty International paints a damning picture of ruthless excessive force by Nigerian security forces”. These include physical abuse, secret detentions, extortion, theft, and extrajudicial executions of suspects.

The list of police brutality cases in Nigeria is very long. For example, it was reported that not less than 115 people were killed by security forces in Nigeria’s Southeast between March and June 2021. Mr. President, this act of man’s inhumanity to man by our security personnel, especially the police, must stop. As the Commander-in-Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces, kindly use your position to ensure justice demanded by the monarch over the murder of his relative, Saheed Olabomi.

Immediately after the incident, Saheed was taken to University of Osun (UNIOSUN) Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, and the autopsy conducted on him established the fact that he died as a result of the injuries received from the shot fired by the police. The Olabomi’s family has unjustly lost their son, but they shouldn’t lose justice, as this may aggravate their pains and anger, which in turn, may lead to chaos, and disobedience to the laws of the land.