The families of two men who were shot dead by the police on LASU- Iyana Iba- Isheri road, Lagos for alleged robbery have absolved them of any crime.
The families have therefore demanded a public apology, N2 billion compensation from the police, as well as the immediate release of the bodies of their children for burial.
According to the families, one of the deceased was a youth corps member while the other was a legitimate businessman.
The video of the alleged extra-judicial killing of the deceased went viral on the social media recently prompting public outcry after people had watched the video clips. The State Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, had ordered a thorough investigations into the matter.
Consequently, four policemen: Fabiyi Olumuyiwa, Olaniyi Solomon, Solomon Sunday and Aliyu Mukaila, of Adolf Police Station, were arrested, tried and dismissed from the force. The four policemen are currently standing trial in a court of law for murder.
The families who spoke through their lawyer, Mr Adesina Ogunlana, said they wanted to clear the names of their children that had been tarnished before they would sue the police for irreparable damages caused to the families.
Mr. Adesina, at a press conference held in his office at Palmgrove, Ikorodu Road, Lagos, said one of the victims, Ogheneovo Ebobo, was a genuine businessman while Soloja Ayodele Gabriel was a youth corps member serving in Kogi State and had visited Lagos for the Sallah celebration when they were shot by the police.
Mr. Adesina, who said he did not trust the police investigation into the matter, appealed to the attorney-general of the federation and Lagos State and Commissioner of Justice, to wade into the issue, to ensure that justice was done.
He said: “We expressed on behalf of our client, deep suspicion and reservation on this development given the dubious and criminal antecedent of Nigeria Police; in a matter of this nature, only the extremely naive, can ever trust the police. The tendency has always been to cover the gross unprofessionalism and hideous crimes of its officers and men. In this case, the police only took some seemingly positive steps in the direction of sanctioning their men, only because of undeniable press exposure on the murder. The Adolff Police Station, had made efforts to cover up the brutal murder.
“Our pains are that our clients have not seen the bodies of their murdered relatives taken away by the police after the gruesome murder .Second, in the preferred charge against the killer policemen, the prosecutors have already dubiously clothed the victims with the cloak of anonymity; this is plain dishonesty. Our client’s link to the deceased by the enquiries at the Adolff Police Station is clear, yet, the police are telling an official lie that the victims’ identities were presently unknown. We have every course to believe that the police authority are merely shedding crocodile tears in this matter and paying lip service to serve justice.
“The tragedy of the murder of our client’s children is fivefold: ‘The most necessary termination of the irreparable and unpurchaseable lives of the victims. The infliction of hideous torture, agony, distress on the relatives, friends, neighbours and dependant of the deceased; the heaping of monumental slur on the good names and reputation of the families of the deceased. The infliction of untold terror on the psyche of the public on the inevitable traumatisation for the police has ones again taken the lives of ordinary citizens, same for the gross denial of the service and contribution of the victims to the growth of Nigeria, their fatherland.
“One of the victims, Ayodele Gabriel Solaja, was until his death, a youth corps member at Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State and as a matter of fact he was the Corpers’ Liaison Officer (CLO) in his jurisdiction. What a hideous waste?
“We respectfully call on the office of Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice not to believe in the lies told by the police, but to order an inquiry into the blatant execution, nay, assassination of Oghneovo Ebobo and Ayodele Solaja on August 19, by men of the Lagos State Police Command. The compelling and mind-boggling question begging for answers and necessitating the inquiry is why did the police summarily execute the two persons already arrested, incapacitated and in custody of the police, who were neither aggressive or confrontational or making effort for an escape? We contend that the brazing termination of the lives of our client’s children by the police was to achieve a cover-up.
“May we inform that, when the mother of Ogheneovo and sister of Ayodele learnt of the killing of their son and brother respectively, later in the afternoon of the fateful day, they went to Adolff Police Station to make inquiries, only for the police officers there to inform them, separately that the deceased were not with the police, having escaped with bullet wounds while they were being taken to the hospital for treatment. This was told to Ayodele’s sister while Ogheneovo’s mother was told that Ogheneovo’s body had been deposited at the mortuary. However, before the arrival of the two women, the police had placed two pistols and expended bullets beside the body of Ogheneovo, a move with clear intention to cover up the act of murder. Two days later due to the exposure of the Adolff killer’s dastard action, the police ordered their arrest, purported to have dismissed them from service after an orderly room trial and had charged them to court for conspiracy to commit murder and for causing the death of two men “by firing shots at them with rifles.” I repeat we don’t trust the police and will never trust the police.
” We want the public to know that the two men the police alleged were armed robbers were decent Nigerians killed for the best reasons known by their killers. The corp member, Ayodele, was a Masters Degree holder. He graduated from the Estam Foundation University ,Republic of Benin where he made 2/I in International relations after which he went for his Master’s Degree in France .After his studies in France ,he came back to Nigeria to serve his father’s land. He was doing his one-year youth service when he was killed by the police. He was to go back to his place of primary assignment the following day which was on Tuesday but was murdered on Monday.