Omobolanle Raheem: Concerns about the police recruitment, training process
Barely three weeks after policemen from Aga Division, Lagos State were reported to have shot Gavaro Primoh of Happy Land Estate, Aga State, they struck again, killing another innocent Nigerian named Omobolanle Rahim.
The Daily Post reports that Lawyer Rahim, who is pregnant with a child from Lagos, was brutally shot dead on December 25 in the presence of her husband without justified reason and, unfortunately, by the police from the same Ajah division.
It was also reported that she was returning from church services, announcing the celebration of Christmas.
The circumstances under which she was killed were described as appalling and brutal, and elicited widespread condemnation from well-meaning Nigerians.
In the aftermath of the incident, which shook the nation, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered police authorities to take “the strongest possible action” against the perpetrators already in custody.
This was revealed by the chief assistant to the Special President for Media and Publicity, Garba Shekho, on Tuesday, in a statement.
Buhari said the incident is a stark reminder of the recurring threat of gun mishandling and a wake-up call for law enforcement agencies, including the police, to ensure full implementation of the reforms put in place by the administration on the issue of gun handling, as well as as a protection for citizens’ rights.
The Police Commission also issued a statement condemning the action. She said the commission noted that the police, through their establishment and constitutional mandate, are expected to protect and save lives and not the other way around.
Also responding to the incident, Inspector General of Police Usman Baba condemned the incident and ordered an investigation.
Force spokeswoman Olumuyiwa Adejobi revealed the IGP’s statement on Monday.
“The IGP, describing the incident as unfortunate and distressing, has ordered a swift investigation and prosecution of the officers responsible for the ugly and unprofessional act, which does not portray the Nigerian Police Standard Operating Procedures and core values,” he said.
However, the Nigerian Bar Association, the NBA, responded by warning that the police are returning to days of brutality.
NBA Publicity Secretary Habib Lawal condemned the incident and warned police not to forget what led to the EndSARS protest that shook the nation.
The NBA is alarmed that police are returning to the dark days of police brutality, and warns that lessons learned from the #EndSARS protest should not be lost on any individual or authority.
“In this sad hour, the nation stands in solidarity with the bereaved family and the National Basketball Association. I assure you, justice will be done in this case.”
Speaking to the daily publication regarding the police killing spree, a security expert who did not wish to be named blamed a dysfunctional political structure for the increase in cases of police brutality and criminality.
He said that the regime prefers rotten eggs in society, which it takes advantage of to create chaos in innocent citizens.
“If you look closely, you will clearly understand that police conscripts are largely responsible for the bulk of police crime and brutality that takes place in the country.
“The process of recruiting and training recruits into the police system makes it difficult, if not impossible, to recruit individuals who are socially responsible and mentally balanced. In most cases, criminals find their way into the system.
“The imbalance of policing in the country is not a problem that can be dealt with overnight or even by the police themselves. It all comes down to the issue of our political restructuring.
Double standards by the police
Meanwhile, famous Nigerian social activist and humorous film maker, Dipo Adebayo, better known as Mr. Macaroni, attacked the Nigerian police for playing double standards in handling cases involving their own men.
Mr. Macroni was responding to how the police dealt with the lawyer’s murderer, Rahim.
The comic maker said that the police protect their men whenever they commit a crime in contrast to how they treat civilians when accused of a crime.
He said, “If you accuse the police of a civil crime, even before they are proven guilty, they will give us their names, even take pictures or make videos after they beat them. Keep yours protected.”
“I pray that all our oppressors will one day be held accountable for their crimes against humanity.”
Omobolanle Raheem: Concerns about police recruitment, training process