Tuesday, 31 May 2011

PRESS STATEMENT BY CLEEN FOUNDATION ON THE GRUESOME MURDER OF THREE POLICE OFFICERS BY SOLDIERS IN BADAGRY, LAGOS, ON MAY 24, 2011.


BRING THE SOLDIERS TO JUSTICE!


Position and Demand
The CLEEN Foundation’s position and demand on the recent gruesome killing of three senior police officers by soldiers in Badagry are that:
1.       The new government of President Jonathan shouldfish out the perpetrators and bring them to justice through a judicial inquiry rather than the current espirit de corpse panel established by the Chief of Army Staffand the Inspector General of Police, which may end up sweeping the matter under the carpet.

2.       The officers should be given a national burial, which should be attended by no less a person than President Jonathan himself, to make the point that it is not only the death of fellow politicians that he cares about and that the life of ordinary Nigerians including the men and women in police uniform matters.

3.      The families of the deceased should be adequately compensated for the loss of their dear ones, breadwinners and pillars of their homes. The compensation package should include money, national awards, health insurance coverage and scholarships to their children.
4.      The Nigeria Police Force should also establish a memorial hall within the force headquarters honor of officerswho die in the line of duty,which should be name after the ‘Badagry Three’. The force should also consider setting aside a day or week every year to organize activities in memory of their fallen ones.

Background
In the morning hours of Tuesday, May 24, 2011, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Badagry Police Division, CSP Samuel Salisu in the company of the Divisional Crime Officer (DCO), DSP Samson Okedusi and the Operation Officer, ASP Afolabi Taofeeq, reportedly went to see the commanding officer of 242 Recce Military Cantonment, located at Ibereko, a suburb of Badagry in Lagos State, on a peace mission. The visit was prompted by a conflict between soldiers from the cantonment and police officers in Badagry, following an incident the previous day in which policemen at a checkpoint in badagary allegedly killed a solider following a scuffle. The conflict had degenerated to a levelwhere soldiers were hunting down policemen for attack to avenge the death of their colleague, hence the visit by the DPO and his team to find a solution to the matter. A journey they never returned from!


On their way to Ibereko military barrack, they were reportedly ambushed by a gang of soldiers and thus ensued the most gruesome killing of police officers in Nigeria in recent times. The DPO and DCO were said to have been shot several times and hacked to death with machetes by soldiers who stripped and dumped them on the roadside.The Operations Officer escaped to the bush with gunshot wounds and died a few days later in a hospital.

This incident was reported to have taken place in the morning hours on the fateful day and the corpses of the DPO and DCO were left on the road till about midnight according to police sources!
Context
This is not the first time soldiers in Nigeria would be indulging in self-help and imposing community punishment on the police and members of the public whenever their colleagues were allegedly killed:

·         On April 20, 2011, Abdullahi Garuba, a Police Corporal with Force No 244238 serving in MOPOL 2, Lagos had an argument with 2 privates of the Nigeria Army – Simon Lucky (09NA/52/0732) and Oladepo Temitope. The argument led to a brawl and the 2 privates beat up the Police Officer, stabbed him severally and left him half dead. He was rushed to a hospital and later died. Both soldiers are yet to be prosecuted and the matter was hushed between the leadership of the police and the military.

·         In 2010 in Ilesha, Osun State, a soldier was found dead in a gutter apparently following a drinking spree. The reaction of his colleagues when he was discovered was to embark on a house-by-house harassment and brutality of people residing in the area. Some were allegedly killed.

·         On October 4, 2005, in Ojuelegba, Lagos, soldiers killed five policemen and burnt Area C Police Command headquarters along with about 60 vehicles parked in the premises. The soldiers also set free 34 criminal suspects who were in the custody of the police.

Concerns of CLEEN Foundation

What makes this latest incident very painful to us in CLEEN Foundation is that Badagry Police Station, led by late DPO Salisu, was among the three police stations in Nigeria that won the 2010 Altus Police Station Award for exemplary services to their communities. It was perhaps because of the exemplary leadership qualities of the DPO that he and the two other officers are dead today. If he had sat back in in his officeand allowed the conflict between his men and soldiers to rage, they may not have died.

We are therefore worried that if nothing is urgently done to bring the perpetrators of this latest heinous incident to book and adequately compensate the families left behind among other demands we made above, the government would be reinforcing and encouraging impunity, which has permeated and pervaded atrocities armed services in Nigeria.


Innocent Chukwuma
Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews

Followers

Amazon Contextual Product Ads