The Lagos State Police Command says it is rounding off plans to prosecute the Divisonal Police Officer, Ijeshatedo Police Station, CSP Mohammed Yakubu, who allegedly shot dead a tailor apprentice, Jamiu Ayoade. The command stated that investigations into the case would be concluded this week, adding that Yakubu would be arraigned thereafter. The state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, who gave the update on Tuesday, warned other DPOs in the state to caution their men or be ready to be held responsible for their official misconducts. He also confirmed the story of a police armourer attached to the Ipakodo Police Station, Sergeant Sunday Odu, who was said to have sold 750 pieces of ammunition from the division’s armoury and replaced them with pebbles. Owoseni spoke during a meeting with senior officers of the command at POWA Secretariat, Ikeja.
PUNCH Metro had reported that the DPO had around 7.30pm on Sunday, May 7, led some policemen to Wosilatu Daudu Street, Ijeshatedo, where Ayoade was attending his friend’s birthday party. The operatives, who raided the area, shot into the air to disperse the gathering. Yakubu reportedly chased Jamiu and other fun seekers into a building and shot him in the head at a close range. The 23-year-old was said to have bled to death while he was being taken to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba. One Akeem also sustained a gunshot injury in the hand.
The command subsequently detained the DPO and commenced investigations into the incident. Owoseni on Tuesday said Yakubu had violated rules of engagement during the raid on the area, adding that he would be arraigned upon the completion of administrative processes on the case. He said, “I don’t know what he was thinking that could have made him (the DPO) to shoot at somebody in the crowd. He would be arraigned in court; no doubt about that. For any civilian that is killed unjustifiably, my emotion can’t take it. I feel the pain of the family of that boy. Why should I defend anybody that kills? “There are administrative processes to be followed, which are almost complete. Probably, it will be completed by the end of this week and the DPO will be arraigned in court.”
Lamenting the misconduct of some operatives of the command, the CP asked the DPOs to curtail the excesses of the cops under them. He said, thenceforth, DPOs would be held liable for atrocities committed by officials under their supervision.
He said, “Caution your men. How can you be friends with people when policemen are on the road brutalising and extorting money from them? I don’t collect returns from any DPO. “From today (Tuesday), for any act of misconduct that happens in your area, you will be held responsible…if you fail to submit yourself, I will come to arrest the policeman that commits the offence. You (DPO) and the offender will be paraded before the press. You will be redeployed and queried.”
He also urged policemen to be modest in dealing with members of the public and to follow ethics of the force to the letter. “Don’t shout at people. You have to weigh the kind of danger your life is exposed to before you use weapons. Whenever force is used by a policeman, the incident should immediately be reported and reviewed by superior officers,” he added. Owoseni said the sergeant who sold the ammunition attempted to kill two senior officers assigned to investigate the crime. He said, “He attempted to kill a CSP and a SP that went to check the armoury. Some ammunition and pebbles were seen in the armoury that is supposed to contain about 750 pieces of ammunition.”
Meanwhile, the police have declared a leader of a notorious kidnapping gang, Donaltus Evans, wanted. It was said that the anti-kidnapping team of the command had stormed the gang’s hideout in a bungalow on Ataye Street, in the Igando area of the state, and recovered four AK-47 rifles, two automatic pistols and four magazines with 15 rounds of ammunition.
Owoseni said, “Some 1,272 pieces of live ammunition, one police bullet-proof and a Toyota Hiace, were also recovered during the operation. Two suspects were arrested. “The police in Lagos, Anambra, Edo and Delta states have been searching for this notorious gang. The command is working seriously to ensure that Evans is apprehended. He has been on our wanted list for three years. The state government and the police are working on a very handsome reward for information that can lead to his arrest and that of other members of the gang.”