26th September, 2011
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has called on the Federal Government to take a decisive measure to end the recurring killing of innocent citizens by the police, following the recent death of a baker after he was allegedly brutalised by the police in Lagos.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said unless government acts fast, the persistent extra-judicial killings could lead to a situation where aggrieved persons or groups will take the laws into their own hands, thus precipitating anarchy.
It also said the government must ensure that all those who have fallen victims to these senseless and needless killings, by the same police force being maintained by tax payers to protect citizens, get justice so they can have a sort of closure.
ACN recalled that it was government’s inaction in the face of extra-judicial killings of members of the Boko Haram that helped push the sect into a killing frenzy, in which it targets security agents, especially policemen, and engage in a dangerous bombing campaign.
”No society can have peace without justice. Therefore, the government must ensure that all victims of extra-judicial killings in the country get justice. It is not just enough to dismiss the policemen who carry out such killings. They must be made to face the law, and their cases dispensed with summarily to serve as a deterrent to others who may want to toe that path.
”The bad eggs in the police, which has the responsibility of maintaining law and order, have continued to act with impunity, terrorising innocent citizens and behaving like criminals. In most cases, these killers in uniform get away with their unconscionable acts, and that has been the reason behind the continued killings. Several cases of police
killings, including that of Mr. Modebayo Awosika – son in-law of veteran journalist Alhaji Alade Odunewu – have yet to be conclusively dealt with and justice served without fear or favour. This mus stop!
”Like we did in our earlier comment on this issue, may we also remind those under whose command these impunity are being perpetrated that they may also still be brought to justice years after they may have left the force -as has happened in other countries around the world where cases of extra-judicial killings have been perpetrated,”Â the party said.
It called for an independent investigation into the death of the 52-year-old baker, identified as Mr. Ismaila Qadri, in the hands of some policemen from the Ipaja police station, Alagolo, simply because he was not able to cough out enough money to ‘bail’ himself after he was arrested in an illegal raid usually carried out by policemen in the area to extort money from hapless citizens.
ACN said the police should not be entrusted with investigating the case, since no one can be a judge in his own case.
”If the unfortunate death of this baker can be used by the authorities to begin the process of ending the mindless killing of Nigerians by the police, either at checkpoints, via illegal raids or in other circumstances, he would not have died in vain,” it said.