The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Ministry of Justice, Lagos State, has freed four policemen accused of extra- judiciously killing of two men suspected to be armed robbers in Iba area of the state.
The policemen, Inspector Fabiyi Omomayowa, Sgt. Olaniyi Solomon, Sgt. Solomon Sunday, and Aliyu Mukaili, were alleged to have arrested two suspected robbers and shot them in full glare of the public. The video of the alleged murder went viral, forcing the police authorities to set up an orderly room trial after which the policemen were dismissed by the force and handed over to the court for prosecution, pending the advice of DPP.
However, DPP has said that the policemen have no case to answer as they shot dead the suspects during an exchange of gunfire.
In a statement issued by DPP, signed by Dr Babajide Martins: “After carefully considering the facts in the duplicate case file, this office is of the opinion that there are insufficient facts to establish a prima facie case of murder or involuntary manslaughter contrary to Sections 222 punishable under 223 or 224(b)and punishable under Section 229 of the criminal law, Cap CI7, Vol.3 Laws of Lagos State, 2015 against Inspector Fabiyi Omomayowa, Sgt Olaniyi Solomon, Sgt Solomon Sunday and CPL Aliyu Mukaila, have no case to answer.”
In swift reaction, families of the slain victims, Segun Solaja and Ogeneovo Ebobo have faulted the DPP, insisting that their children were not armed robbers, but innocent people that were extra judiciously murdered by the police.
The aggrieved families who spoke through their lawyer, Mr Adesina Ogulana, called on the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Lagos State to revisit the matter and give justice to the bereaved family to enable the spirit of the murdered children rest in peace.
Mr Ogunlana at a press conference in his office in Lagos, said: “With due respect, we consider the exculpation of the killers in police uniform by DPP as not only hasty, untidy, but a sordid arrangement that insults the intelligence of right-thinking people and does no honour to the office of the DPP itself.
“Can the office of the DPP claim ignorance of the filmic exposé via the electronic coverage and broadcast of the daylight execution of the two victims by the police killers that was all over the social media in August and September, as to arrive at its present exculpation advice? In the footage, the victims were deliberately and clearly executed in cold blood after being apprehended safely by the policemen and taken to custody in police van.
“Can the DPP claim ignorance of the widely-disseminated report of the dismissal of the four defendants from the Police Force after orderly room trial for their misconduct of executing Segun Solaja and Ogheneovo Ebobo extra judiciously, wherein the defendants were found complicit of the crime of murder and consequently charged to court.
“More so, why did the office of the Police Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command maintain consistently all through the saga the stance that its officers went beyond the lawful and proper in handling the case of the deceased? We call for an immediate reinvestigation in the matter. I want to bring to your notice that our clients’ lives are in danger as the released policemen have not only be roaming free, but boasting about that they are above the law, while our clients, their relations and friends are living in embarrassment and mortal fear.
“We on behalf of our clients reject the aforesaid legal advice in question, in its entirety as ‘DPP-Police’ arrangement that does not reflect the true state of affairs. This is a clear case of murder of a youth corp member and a genuine businessman.”