Killings By Police Bullets


The killing of innocent people in Nigeria by police bullets has become a frequent occurrence and many are asking: when will the madness end? When will the killers be punished? Last Thursday, Timilehin Solomon Ebun, a nine-year old pupil at Royal Scholars International School in Ikorodu area of Lagos, who loved playing computer games was in a car with his parents when a police bullet hit him in the eye in Ketu, killing him on the spot.

His parents, Olusegun and Funke Ebun, were returning with him from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja where they had gone to pick Jide, his elder brother who lives in Canada, when a mad cop pulled the trigger as he and other policemen tried to extort money from commuter bus drivers.

Timilehin was killed by a cop who is alleged to have killed several people before but who is always getting away with his crime because of his alleged connection to a royal family. Timilehin’s killing is not an isolated incident in Nigeria. On 10 December last year, the Minister of Justice Mohammed Adoke was quoted as saying at a public event marking the Human Rights Day that the police alone had killed 7,108 persons in four years in Nigeria. Of the victims, he said, 2,500 were detained suspects.

Daily or weekly, a policeman shoots or kills someone in Nigeria and labels the victim as an armed robber or blames the incident on an accidental discharge.Policemen in Nigeria pull the trigger so easily as if there was no value attached to human life. They shoot and kill innocent people as if they could replace or replicate life.

Most of the killings occur during arguments over mere N20 bribe as they try to extort money from commuter bus drivers or innocent citizens.

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The little bribe seems to blind them so much that they pull the trigger so fast and lose control of their emotions so easily.

They operate as if they did not receive any training or ethics in the discharge of their duty. Nigerians are fed up with losing friends and relatives to police bullets.

Policemen are paid with taxpayers’ money to protect life and property. They cannot take law into their hands because they carry guns that were bought by our collective sweat.

They cannot continue along that ignominious path. Nigeria is a country with laws but unfortunately those ought to enforce these laws end up committing atrocities and inflicting more pain on the people.

This is not the way forward. The blood of Timilehin and other innocent people have been sent to their early graves is crying for justice. We call on the authorities to arrest the killers, prosecute and punish them adequately so as to serve as a deterrent to others.

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