We won’t stand police brutality anymore, Reps vow
the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, on Tuesday announced the disbandment of the Zonal Intervention Squad, Obada-Oko, Ogun State.
The disbandment followed the death of a player of Remo Stars Football Club, Kazeem Tiyamiyu.
The victim and his friend had been arrested by police operatives at Sagamu on Saturday.
They were being taken to the ZIS office at Obada Oko, Abeokuta, when Tiamiyu was allegedly pushed out of the police vehicle.
He was crushed to death by an oncoming vehicle on the Abeokuta-Sagamu Expressway.
The death led to violent protests in Sagamu, as policemen deployed to quell the riot shot several protesters dead.
The IG had ordered the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Criminal Investigations Department, Force Headquarters, Peter Ogunyonwo, to take over the case.
Ogunyonwo, during a condolence visit to the parents of the deceased on behalf of the IG, said the ZIS, Obada, had been disbanded.
He was accompanied on the visit to Sagamu by the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun.
The DIG disclosed that a police inspector indicted in the case had also been dismissed, while other officers were under investigation.
He noted that the death of Tiamiyu would prompt the police to carry out more reforms.
Ogunyonwo maintained that all officers involved in the circumstances that led to the footballer’s death had been arrested.
He explained that the ZIS operatives were on an illegal duty and did not obtain clearance from the police formation at Sagamu before arresting the deceased.
The DIG pledged that full Investigation would be carried out to bring those that were involved to justice.
He promised that the police would do everything possible to purge itself of “trigger-happy elements”.
In his remarks, Abiodun said every instrument of government would be used to unravel the circumstances of the killing and the crisis that enveloped Sagamu.
He said, “The future of the state will be secure when people eschew violence and go about their business in a lawful manner.”
Also at the deceased’s house were the state Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson; and the state Director of the Department of State Services, Mr David Tuska.
They pleaded with residents not to take the law into their own hands.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has vowed to defend Nigerians against extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses by men of the Nigeria Police Force.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, spoke in Abuja on Tuesday at a public hearing organised by the House Committee on Police Affairs, themed, ‘Repositioning the Nigeria Police for Enhanced Service Delivery.’
While citing the killing of Tiamiyu, which he said had led to chaos in Sagamu, the Speaker said the populace now lived in fear of threats posed by the police.
At the event were the IG, Adamu, represented by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), Abdulmajid Ali; Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata (SAN), for the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN); and the Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi.
Also in attendance were the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, represented by the Emir of Kebbi, Alhaji Ibrahim Mera; a former Assistant IG and Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu; a former IG and Chairman, Police Service Commission, Musiliu Smith; representatives of the service chiefs, Department of State Services and the National Orientation Agency, among others.
Gbajabiamila said, “In the last few days, we have all witnessed as the city of Sagamu in Ogun State has been unsettled by an orgy of violence resulting from the extrajudicial killing of a young footballer by officers of the Nigeria Police. Citizens who gathered to protest this killing were soon themselves at the receiving end of police bullets.
“This is not an isolated incident. We are daily inundated with news reports of interactions between citizens and the police resulting in the injury and death of those citizens. Reports of police harassment of young people have become so rampant that they barely even break through the news cycle except when public anger becomes so great that it results in breakdown of law and order.
“We can no longer stand for this, and we will not. This House of Representatives has a responsibility to speak for our citizens and we will continue to do so even when it is inconvenient.”
The Speaker pointed out that the first responsibility of the state was to protect lives and property.
According to him, everything else flows from this fundamental obligation.
He said, “We are confronted with an urgent need, deserving of our utmost attention and dedication. We must fix the Nigeria Police Force, restore public confidence and make the institution once more deserving of the true faith and support of the Nigerian people.”
Gbajabiamila noted that the hearing was convened to examine ways the House could improve the capacity of the police to deliver on their obligations to the people.