Police team arrested over killing of Kolade Johnson in Lagos

Amnesty International has said that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo reform on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in in August last year have been ineffective.

Kolade Johnson
Kolade Johnson

Amnesty International made this statement following the killing of Kolade Johnson by police team in Mangoro/Onipetesi community in Lagos on Sunday.

Amnesty International said : “Once again SARS is in the news for alleged brutalisation of Nigerians. We have several times called for #EndSARS.

“SARS is a police unit created to protect the people, instead it has become a danger to society, torturing its victims with complete impunity while fomenting a toxic climate of fear and corruption.

“Many attempts to reform SARS, including the one ordered by @ProfOsinbajo in August last year have been ineffective. Nigerians are still brutalized by SARS. Restructuring SARS is not enough unless the government takes concrete steps to protect Nigerians.

“Our research since 2016 uncovered a pattern of ruthless human rights violations by SARS, where victims are arrested and tortured until they either make a ‘confession’ or pay officers a bribe to be released.

“Apart from brutality, some police officers in SARS regularly demand bribes, steal and extort money from criminal suspects and their families. SARS officers are getting rich through their brutality. In Nigeria, it seems that torture is a lucrative business.”

But the police team under the Lagos State Police Command had been arrested over the alleged killing of a youth, Kolade Johnson on Sunday.

The command’s spokesman, DSP Bala Elkana, confirmed the arrest in a statement on Monday.

On Sunday that some residents of Mangoro/Onipetesi community in Lagos went on a rampage blocking the Oshodi/Abeokuta expressway in protest against the killing of a youth in the area.

The angry residents blocked the major roads with tyres and woods after a youth was allegedly shot dead by policemen from Anti-Cultism Unit of Lagos State Command.

An unmarked commercial bus occupied by the policemen had visited the community on Sunday afternoon in search of youths dressed wildly and wore dreadlocks.

It further gathered that one of the police operatives allegedly shot dead the youth from behind in an attempt to disperse a crowd which had gathered during the raid.

According to Elkana, on March 31, at about 5.05p.m., the Command received a distress call that Lagos- Abeokuta Express Way has been blocked by some angry youths who were protesting the shooting of one Kolade Johnson of No.1 Beco street, Onipetesi, Mangoro Bus Stop.

Nigerians protest, denounce killing of Kolade Johnson by police
He said the shooting was done by a team of policemen from Anti Cultism unit, stressing that a team of policemen from the Rapid Response Squads and Metro Patrol were promptly drafted to the scene.
Elkana said the account of eye witnesses helped in identifying the team which fled the scene immediately after the incident.

“Members of the team suspected to be involved in the shooting have since been arrested and are currently in police custody undergoing interrogation.

“They will be subjected to internal disciplinary procedures, and may be prosecuted in conventional court if implicated by ongoing investigation.

“Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, CP Zubairu Muazu calls for calm, assuring that justice will prevail in this case.

“The CP also condoles with the family, friends and well wishers of Kolade Johnson,” he said.
The spokesman said that the CP has promised to initiate far reaching reforms to help in repositioning the Anti Cultism Squad for effective service delivery, particularly in areas of respect for Human Rights and proficiency in the use of firearms.

“Members of the public who have complaints on the activities of Anti Cultism Squad or any of our Police teams should call the following numbers 08063299264, 08065154338 and 08060357795,” he added.

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