The Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Mohammed Adamu, has decried the incessant killing of innocent persons in Lagos state by policemen, saying it is unacceptable.
Adamu stated this in Lagos on Monday while addressing officers and men of the command at the Police College, Ikeja.
He said that his visit to the state was scheduled for later in the year, but that he had to make it now because of the incessant extra-judicial killings.
According to him, such incidents were pitching the force against the citizens they pledged to serve and protect.
The IG needed to make clear statements to the police, condole the families of victims of the killings and re-assure the people that police authorities would not condone any form of abuse of power.
“From January to April, 2019, Lagos State has recorded four incidents of misuse of firearms which have resulted in extra-judicial killings of young citizens of this country and injury to others.
‘’More worrisome is that two of these incidents occurred within the last two weeks.
“Aside negating our professional calling, extra-judicial acts of any description or level by any police personnel is an unacceptable anomaly that creates disdain between the citizens and their police and widen the trust gap between them,’’ he said.
He warned that any police personnel that insisted on remaining incorrigible by engaging in abuse of his or her powers or misuses his weapons in utter disregard to statutory provisions would be arrested.
“The person will be investigated through our internal disciplinary machinery and if found culpable, shall be dismissed from service.
“In addition, such personnel will be charged to court for murder or sundry offences depending on his or her level of criminal liability in the instance.
“Furthermore, the line supervisors of such officer, including the Area Commander, Divisional Police Officer or Sectional Head, shall be held vicariously liable for lacking supervision and shall be similarly sanctioned.
“In the long term, rather than the use of firearms, we shall henceforth use technologies and weapon systems such as electro-muscular disruption technology, commonly known as Taser or Stun guns by police.
“It will be used for routine patrols as a strategic approach towards reducing incidents of fatalities associated with misapplication of lethal weapons by the police.
“In perfecting these initiatives, we shall be engaging with Human Rights Bodies, International Agencies, Development Partners and Civil Society Organisations,” Adamu said.
He said that in the coming days, more administrative actions directed at giving a new orientation to all police personnel and restructuring of Lagos state command would be undertaken.
“This may involve personnel re-organisation. There will be nationwide tailor-made training and capacity development programmes that are directed at reorientation of personnel in compliance with human rights and professional conducts.
The IG, however, commended policemen in the command for their dedication to crime-fighting and encouraged them to do more in line with international standards.
Earlier in his address, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Zubairu Muazu, had expressed dissatisfaction that the IG was visiting the command under unpleasant circumstances.
“The Lagos State Police Command would have loved to welcome the IG on a better note than the one that brought him.
“It is sad and unfortunate that the I-G is visiting Lagos due to the continuous misdemeanour of some policemen in Lagos.
“However, `the command is blessed with hardworking officers, working day-in and day-out to make sure that crime is reduced to the barest minimum,” he said.
Muazu assured the IG and the public that the command would continue to work hard to make Lagos safe.