…Insisting on professional standards
The Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) has commended the Lagos State Police command under CP Zubairu Muazu for condemning and unequivocally dissociating the police from the unlawful action of four police officers who extra judicially executed two armed robbery suspects after they had successfully arrested and taken them into custody.
The Executive Director, RULAAC, Mr. Okechukwu Nwanguma who gave the commendation in a statement in Lagos on Wednesday also commended the Commissioner of Police for ordering the prompt arrest and subjection of the officers to internal disciplinary processes as prelude to charging them to court for prosecution for murder.
Nwanguma noted that RULAAC was saddened by the unwarranted and unjustifiable killing of two of the four criminal suspects by four police officers attached to Iba Division Patrol on 19th August, 2019.
He said, “The police officers, who responded to a distress call, successfully arrested and disarmed two of the armed robbery suspects while the other two escaped. However, the police officers went ahead to take laws into their hands by summarily executing the arrested suspects. By summarily executing the arrested suspects, the officers went beyond their duties and powers as police officers. They committed murder.
“As correctly stated by the Lagos State command via a statement issued by the command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, the action of the police officers runs contrary to the NPF’s professional standards and rules of engagement. It also has a tendency to deplete eroding public support and confidence in the police as well as roll back public sympathy for the police after some of their personnel were given similar unlawful and brutal treatment by army officers.
”RULAAC urges the Lagos State command to remain steadfast in its exemplary disposition to discouraging, punishing and checking abuse of Police powers, misuse of firearms and extrajudicial killings by officers in the command.”
He added that the prompt steps taken by the CP Lagos in this case, as in previous cases, should send a clear message to police officers that abuse of humans rights would not and cannot be condoned or tolerated in a democratic dispensation and that the duties of the police were to serve and protect, not to kill citizens or abuse their rights.
“RULAAC will continue to focus attention on cases such as this to ensure that when charged to court, the perpetrators are prosecuted and handed appropriate punishments as prescribed by law.
“In addition to strengthening accountability processes, RULAAC will continue to advocate other measures, including reform of police recruitment procedures, training and reorientation, provision of modern policing equipment and improved welfare as some of the measures to address police resort to brutality and unprofessional conduct”, he further said.
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