Crime & SecurityNewsNigeriaPoliticsTinubu, Atiku, Obi Pledge to Reform the Police Sector Over Killing of Lawyer by Cop

The three leading presidential candidates in the forthcoming general elections, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) have pledged to reform the Nigerian Police Force following the killing of Bolanle Raheem by a police officer in Lagos State.

Raheem, a Lagos-based female lawyer, was shot dead by a police officer from Ajiwe Police station under the Ajah Bridge on Sunday, Christmas day in her car on her way back from a church service.

According to multiple reports, after killing the lawyer, the trigger-happy policeman fled the scene with his colleagues. Raheem, who was reportedly pregnant, was rushed to a hospital but was confirmed dead.

While sending their condolences to the family, friends and associates of the deceased, the presidential candidates of the PDP, APC and LP condemned Raheem’s killing and urged the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.

Tinubu said: “I share the grief and frustration of Nigerians over the senseless killing of Mrs. Ombolanle Raheem by a police officer on Christmas Day in Lagos.

“The avoidable tragedy, which cost a family a beloved member and our country a diligent legal professional, underscores, yet again, the crucial importance and urgency of reforming the Nigeria Police Force.

“The important institution must live up to its constitutional mandate of protecting the people and keeping the peace. Encounters with law enforcement agents should not result in death, injury, or undue harassment for law-abiding citizens. That is unacceptable.

“While I send my sincere condolences to Omobolanle’s family, I urge the Inspector General of Police and other responsible authorities to ensure speedy justice in the matter and demonstrate even greater dedication to the nationwide implementation of measures designed to uphold professionalism within the force.”

The PDP’s candidate, Abubakar tweeted: “The shooting of Bolanle Raheem by a police officer is heartbreaking and stands condemned. This latest shooting calls to attention the urgent need for Police reforms that will sanitise the Force and bring it in line with best policing practices.

“I call on the police authorities and the Justice system to expedite action on the matter, as justice delayed is justice denied. This will serve as a deterrent to the incidents of irresponsible shooting of innocent citizens by law enforcement agents.

“I express my deepest condolences to the family, friends and the Nigeria Bar Association, in particular its Lagos chapter. May her soul rest in peace.”

The flag bearer of the LP, Obi said:: “I am shocked by the mindless killing of Mrs. Bolanle Raheem by a trigger-happy policeman on a Christmas day. Her death is a huge loss to her immediate and extended family. Like I’ve always said, a well trained and professional police officer will not engage in police brutality.

“Her killing, and the loss of many innocent lives across the nation to trigger-happy policemen, is the reason why I will embark on immediate and intrusive security sector reform and governance (SSRG). Relatedly, we must improve the functioning and effectiveness of the police by strengthening their civilian oversight as well as increasing their strength, material, financial allocation, and enhanced professional training.

“Our national policing strength must be relative to our national population and meet global standards.

“We must not allow the waste of himan lives in Nigeria under any guise. May the soul of Late Mrs. Bolanle Raheem rest in perfect peace. My sincere condolence to her family.”

The Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lagos Branch, has also condemned the unfortunate and sad incident, calling for the speedy investigation and prosecution of the officer responsible for the ugly and unprofessional act whose primary job function was to protect the same citizen.

They pledged their full support and cooperation with the police authorities in their investigation to unravel the remote and immediate cause of the shooting that led to the untimely death of the deceased with a view to ensuring that justice is served.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Police command spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin confirmed the arrest of the police officer who shot Raheem, identified as Dambri Vandi, an Assistance Superintendent of Police (ASP), and two others on Monday.

“Unfortunate and avoidable incident that was. The ASP that shot and two others with him have since been taken into custody. They are to be moved to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba, for further investigations,” Hundeyin said.

By Ezinwanne Onwuka (Senior Reporter)
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