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Christmas Day Shooting: ‘Who Is Next?’ — Nigerians Demand Justice For Woman Killed By Trigger-Happy Policeman

Nigerians on the macro blogging Application, Twitter have demanded the identity of the Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) who killed a legal practitioner, Bolanle Raheem in the Ajah area of Lagos State.

Her demise followed a stray bullet by a trigger-happy officer on Christmas day while driving with her family members along the Ajah bridge of the state.

The State Police Command on Monday in a statement described the situation as becoming “one too many”, recalling a similar situation that had caused the life of Gafaru Buraimoh three weeks ago.

The police said the incident is “embarrassing”, and against the standard operating procedures (SOP) of the Force, hence its transfer to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID).

But Nigerians have berated the Police for the incident asking that the command reveal the officer’s identity and arrest the Division Police Officers (DPO) of Ajire Division, under which the said officer operates.

According to some, there is a need for DPOs to also take responsibility for erring subordinates, adding that this would help reduce the excesses of deviant officers.

For instance, @sammy_klick said, “The DPO of Ajiwe should also be sanctioned. He is their head after all. If they don’t start sanctioning these DPOs, their useless boys will keep misbehaving. This is the solution”.

Others questioned the professionalism of the police authorities in relation to the types of officers being recruited.

A tweep @TaiwoSAAdebanjo noted, “Many of the police officers who carry arms are not qualified to even wear the police uniform not to talk of carrying AK47 up and down the street. Sometimes the handling of their weapons is alarming. I’ve seen many too many in the risky way of holding their weapon.”

Also, @Brebs15 had similar views saying, “It is high time the Nigeria Police Force is de-militarised. It is wrong that every Tom, Dick and Harry in the NPF has access to assault rifles while performing routine duties. Many NPF staff lack requisite skills 4 weapon handling.”

A Twitter user @DhapoBold said, “Can we have the name of the errant officer, image and the name of the DPO Ajiwe Police station, please? while @Ummi_Hayat asked that proper evaluation be run on police officers who interface directly with civilians.

 

She said, “And just like that a young hardworking woman is gone, Dear Nigerian Police you need to do better, your officers need adequate psychological evaluation, this cannot be happening every time, do better for the force and Nigeria as a whole, you can’t bring a life back.”

 

The Lagos Police Command, has, however, called for calm noting it is “already in constant touch with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and other relevant stakeholders towards ensuring that justice totally prevails”.

The NBA on the other hand said it was monitoring the situation.

The Association’s National Publicity Secretary, Akorede Lawal in a tweet on Monday said, “We are aware of this unfortunate incident. This is yet another crime against a lawyer. Regrettably, our member is gone. The NBA President @YCMaikyauSAN is right on this and we shall ensure that justice is duly served.”

The situation of trigger-happy policemen in the country is not an isolated case and there have been at least seven reported cases of Nigerians who had died following a similar situation in the last 24 months.

In Kenya, a report quoted a consultant psychologist, Felix Opondo blaming the situation on bottled-up stress which could be work-related, family-aggravated or even social.

The specialist, however, advised that the police authorities including the heads of commands, units and formations become sensitive to the psychosocial status of the junior officers.

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