Nigeria: Lagos Lawyer – Justice Must Be Done, Says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the “heinous and senseless” killing of Omobolanle Raheem, a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), by on-duty policemen on Christmas Day.

The president, in a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said he was deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the brutal killing and directed the police authorities to take “the strongest possible action” against the culprits already held in detention.

Buhari said this incident is a stark reminder of the recurring menace of the mishandling of weapons and a wake-up call to law enforcement agencies, including the Police, to ensure the full implementation of reforms instituted by the administration on the subject of weapons handling as well as the protection of the rights of citizens.

“In this hour of grief, the nation stands in solidarity with the bereaved family and the NBA. I assure that justice will be done in this case,” the president said.

Also yesterday, the Police Service Commission (PSC) called for the immediate report of the situation which leading to the killing of the Lagos lawyer, Mrs Raheem.

The PSC, in a statement by its spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, said it was shocked by the “unprovoked killing” of Raheem by a policeman attached to Ajiwe Police Station, Ajah, in Lagos State, on Sunday, describing it as an “irresponsible and savage act.”

The PSC said it had directed that the Police leadership hasten investigation into the matter and forward its report to the Commission for consideration and further disciplinary action.

The commission also called on the Police to put in place a formidable programme for further training of its men in weapon handling as the case of unprovoked shooting and killing of innocent Nigerians had become worrisome.

It said the police by its creation and constitutional mandate are expected to protect and save lives and not the other way round.

The acting chairman of the commission, Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi (rtd) on behalf of the management and staff, commiserated with the family of the deceased, especially her husband who was driving her home when they were accosted by the trigger-happy policeman.

Meanwhile, the Lekki Estates Residents and Stakeholders Association (LERSA), the umbrella association of estates and residents in the Lekki-Epe corridor of Lagos State, has called for immediate action to stop the killing of its members and other Nigerians by policemen

LERSA, in a statement by its president, Olorogun James Emadoye, described the killing of Mrs Raheem as “distressing” and “one of too many incidents within a very short period.”

Emadoye recalled that few weeks ago, there was a protest against the killing of a promising young man in the Sangotedo area that almost went out of control.

According to the LERSA president, the association does not think that protests would produce the required results and had, therefore, started engaging with the relevant authorities to find a lasting solution to what has become a major threat to the communities in the corridor and the whole country.

“I, in company of some of the members of our exco, had a meeting the same morning of the incident with the Area J Police Commander. I can assure you that the authorities themselves are disturbed over this. A harmless pregnant mother with four children in a vehicle killed for nothing. We must strategize and see how to do other things that will stop this sort of incident,” Emadoye said.

One of the measures that LERSA is strongly proposing, Emadoye revealed, is the involvement of the community in helping to check the mental health of weapons-bearing security officers.

“The association will establish immediate contact with the Lagos State Commissioner of Police on this challenge. Our thoughts go to the husband and children of the deceased this season. May God comfort them and grant them the fortitude to carry on,” he said.

He added that LERSA will ensure that justice is obtained for the family of the deceased and see that her death brings an end to such waste of human lives in the country.

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