6th March, 2012
The Lagos State Government is to sue the State Police Command and the former Divisional Police Officer, DPO, of Pen Cinema Police Station over the alleged murder of a protester and wounded three others during the last fuel subsidy protest in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
The deceased, 27-year old Demola Abiodun was allegedly shot dead by the dismissed former DPO, Segun Fabunmi and three others who were injured and rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Governor Babatunde Fashola had ordered the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye to take up the case and ensure that justice was done in the matter as he vowed that the matter would not be swept under carpet.
The Office of the Public Defender, OPD, an agency under the State Ministry of Justice is handling the case.
Speaking with P.M.NEWS, the Director, OPD, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi said the state government was suing the police and the former DPO for N200 million for the murder of Abiodun and N100 million each for three others who were wounded by police bullets during the protest.
She said the OPD was ready to press charges against the police over the murder of Abiodun and injuring three others.
Rotimi stated that the office had already forwarded its investigation and the charges to the Attorney General and the Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary for approval, which she said, had been granted.
According to her, the OPD would soon proceed to court to sue the police command and the killer DPO over the matter, adding that what was delaying the action was the absence of the autopsy report.
She said the autopsy report was ready and that the office was waiting for the Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University, LASU, Prof. John Obafunwa, a pathologist to make the autopsy available to the office.
“Once the autopsy is ready, we will head to court. We are ready. The DPO who killed Abiodun is still in prison,” she said.
In January, during the nationwide fuel subsidy protest in Lagos, Fabunmi, the accused former DPO, who was in charge of Pen Cinema Police Station, was alleged to have personally shot dead Abiodun while they were playing football on College Road, Ogba and wounded three others.
The ex-DPO and his team were said to have pursued Abiodun and others to a house in the area and shot them and fled.
The outcry against the murder of Abiodun made Fashola to wade into the matter, ordering the Attorney General to probe the murder in order to prosecute the culprit.
The Attorney General, has vowed that justice must be done in the matter and that it must not be swept under the carpet, saying that government would take over the prosecution of the DPO for allegedly killing an innocent citizen.
According to him, since the deceased was killed in the state, the government had the right to take over the case and ensure that justice prevailed.
“We have already instructed office of the DPP to be vigilant. Aside, we have started gathering our own facts. We are also paying attention to the details in order to avoid a miscarriage of justice. The prosecution of the accused person will commence as soon as the report is ready.
“We are currently waiting for the report of the investigation into the circumstances surrounding his killing. The state DPP is duly following up the case to ensure that there is no cover-up and that justice is done in the matter,” he said.
The OPD had also two years ago secured N100 million compensation in the court for Miss Uzoma Okereke, who was brutalised by naval ratings in Victoria Island area of the state.