On 25th December 2022, Christmas day, as messages of peace, love and unity rent the air, a trigger happy policeman shot dead a female lawyer – Bolanle Raheem, perhaps a potential Senior Advocate of Nigeria, in front of her daughter.
Celebrity designer, Toyin Lawani narrated a second eye account of how it happened, “She (Raheem) went to buy pizza for Christmas, for her daughter, she was shot in front of her daughter. The police asked them to park and there was a car in front of them, they were about to park not like they were moving or anything and they shot her in the chest. She died on the spot.
“She is pregnant. Nigeria police, when are you people going to stop giving these drunkards uniforms. These people on the road, they will be disturbing everybody’s peace for no reason, trying to extort money from people. Christmas Day, Bolanle! Haaa! Oh my God! We must all make sure that we support her, make sure whoever did this to her pays for his crime.”
While the police is yet to name the police officer involved, human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, uploaded a picture and identified the officer as “ASP Ayuba, the rogue policeman at Ajiwe Police Station, Ajah that murdered a pregnant lawyer, Mrs. Bolanle Raheem, on Christmas day.”
It appears Ajiwe Police Station is the home of a few bad apples with stank reputation that has rubbed off on good officers.
7th December, 2022, a 31-year-old, Gafaru Buraimoh was shot dead by a police officer attached to Ajah Divisional Police Lagos state Command.
Buraimoh was hit by a stray bullet while he was coming out of a mall.
The yet unnamed police officer was also from Ajiwe Police Station, Ajah.
Outside Lagos, another policeman is responsible for the death of 28 year old Godsent Obhafuoso.
A statement by the family noted that on 13th August 2022, Godsent Obhafuoso accompanied his master, Augustine Iyoha to Uromi for the burial of his mother-in-law and in the process, one Sunday Obhanogho arrived with a policeman from the Area Command in Uromi, Inspt. S. O. Ayemere while he (Obhafuoso ) was video recording the party and also assisting his master to collect money being sprayed him, the policeman released gunshots that hit a cameraman and also hit the ribs of Godsent and were pronounced as brought in dead (BID) at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital.
The next statement by the deceased’s brother is shocking. He told newsmen that he was charged a mobilization fee of N200,000; the IPO in charge of the case at the Anti-Vice which I paid, promised to go and carry out the arrest but till date, they have not done anything.
He claimed that he also paid N30,000 before the police agreed to witness the autopsy.
These are only three accounts of the atrocities committed by police officers which constantly dwarf the outcome of the biggest non-political protest in modern times in Nigeria, the ENDSARS.
On Raheem’s case, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba has condemned and ordered an investigation into the killing.
The IGP, who described the incident as unfortunate and sad, said the incident does not portray the Nigeria Police Standard Operating Procedure and Core Values.
This appears to be another “copy and paste” by the top brass of the NPF.
Questions for the NPF
There are questions begging for answers from the police force?
How long will it take to conduct investigations in matters involving police officers?
Why is the police hierarchy seemingly reluctant to make scapegoats of erring officers?
Will the police let Justice truly prevail?
If Justice is delivered– will it bring back the dead?
When will Police officers stop chasing the price for “top murders” committed by any security agency per annum?
Is the police making any attempt at self re-inventing and enforcing good behaviour within its ranks?
If Police is truly the citizen’s friend, are there ways of closing such gulf in trust between the two?
Until the IGP and his top management team review and answer these questions, the police will continue to fail Nigerians.
VeoNews hereby extends its condolences to the families of Barr. Bolanle Raheem and Gafaru Buraimoh. May the Good Lord keep us all safe and grant the police the will to truly keep us safe.