Kolade Johnson Death: Muazu Reads the Riot Act To SARS And Others

By Elizabeth Chukwuma

 It is no longer going to be business as usual  for the Lagos state Police Command , Special Anti Robbery  Squad, SARS , headed by  peter Gana, a Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP and other Tactical Squads: anti-Cultism and  anti-Kidnapping.

This is because  Zuberu Mua’zu, the  Lagos  State Commissioner of police has  read the  riot  to the   tactical squads     owing to the shooting  of  Kolade Johnson, a football fan, by one Ogunyemi  Olaleka, an Inspector of police and a member of the  state police Command anti-Cultism squad at Onipetesi area  of the state.  

An angry Mua’zu was said to have made it  clear to the Squad members   that they must not be  going out for the usual  routine stop and search on the street  or embark on any   operation  without    a distress  call .  the Commissioner noted that the assignment of th tactical squads  must be one which   the  conventional police could not  be able to handle.  

The police Commissioner,  according to Bala Elkana, a Deputy Superintendent of police and the state Police Command   Police Public Relations  Officer, PPRO, has made  it clear to the Tactical  Squads including SARS,  that their members would be  officially screened  and those found unfit to be in any of the squads would be withdrawn  and redeployed to  Areas where they would more useful to the Service without the use of weapons.

He  may have  taken the tough decisions because of the public outcry  and President Muhammadu Buhari  show of concern over the brutal   killing of late Johnson.  Note that due to public   low opinion about the police in their indiscriminate use of weapons , he was said to held a closed door meeting with the Divisional Police Officers, DPOs, Area Commanders and  the various Heads of the Tactical Squads where he was said to have  directed that  their ranks and file must be retrained on weapons handling  as to be able to know when to use weapons. Going by the 1999 Constitution as amended  a security operative  including  a police o officer  could only use  the weapon in a difficult situation  ostensibly for self  defense.

The killing of late Johnson by the  Lagos  state police Command  anti-Cultist  member may  not have been in self defense  but a deliberate abuse of the use of weapon. When The Value News visited the  SARS office on at the state police Command , Ikeja, the  SARS , Officials and other tactical squad members  were all found in the office except those on critical assignment  .

Perhaps to ensure that the members of the tactical squads conduct themselves in very decent manner in the discharge of the ir dutiesand to win back the people’s confidence that the policemen are there to protect lives and property ,the Police Commissioner Mohammed Abbubakar Adamu, the acting Inspector General of Police, was said to have  dismissed  the trigger hungry  Olalekan from the force.  A security expert who spoke to the Magazine  disclosed that he could take such a bold decision because it is within his powers to do so. 

.Zuberu Mua’zu: Lagos State Commissioner of Police

 The good news was that the Commissioner has carried  the Johnson’s  family members along  in handling the police  Inspector’s came  from arrest to arraignment in Court . The  Head of the family , Elkana, the state PPRO, confirmed was invited to see the  suspect  in police Custody . He was also said to have been given the opportunity to talk with him to show that the police would not shield any officer found wanting in the discharge of his duties. The suspect was also exposed Journalists   who  interviewed and took  shots of him for  their publications and the electronic media.

  Given  the no. one Lagos state Corp plan to dispose as quickly as possible the case of Olaleke, the suspected police Inspector  who deliberately shot Late Johnson, the state police Command was said to have   dragged him to Court. The Johnson  family, were also said to have been invited to witness the trial.   

 On the first day of the  trial,  the police suspect  was said to have been  reminded in prison custody , on the orders of Mrs. A.O. Salawu, the trial Magistrate. She had ruled that  that the suspect would remain in the prison custody pending  advice  from the state  Director of public Prosecutions , DPP .

  The suspect may have been charged to a Lagos Magistrate Court   because the alleged ”offence contravened  the provisions  of section  223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos state’ 2015′.

 That much was confirmed by a legal expert. There are fears that   Olaleke may be killed if found guilty. Note that   the lagos criminal  law ”stipulates  a death sentence  if convicted for sucha crime , an indication that he may not escape it because” there  are overwhelming evidence  available to the Prosecuting office  to show that the police suspect  actually used his  AK47 rifle to  gun down  the late Johnson”, a police source said.       

The trial of the police suspect in Court may have sent  a signal to  other Corps that they do not have  the license to use their AK 47 rifles  to kill as the” law would catch up with anyone caught in the act”.

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