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
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SARS, that their members would be officially screened and those found unfit to be in any of the squads would be withdrawn and redeployed to Areas where they would more useful to the Service without the use of weapons.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.
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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