ABUJA – Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar yesterday called for urgent reforms to sanitize the police in Nigeria.
Atiku, who stated this when he reacted to the killing of a Lagos-based lawyer, Mrs. Bolanle Raheem, also called on the police authorities and the justice system to expedite action on the matter, noting that justice delayed is justice denied.
Bolanle, a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) was killed by a police assistant superintendent (ASP).
The incident occurred near the Ajah bridge on Christmas Day as the deceased returned from church.
Bolanle was reportedly shot while she sat in the car; the husband was beside her.
The police public relations officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, reacted to the fatal shooting yesterday.
The spokesman described the officer’s action as “unfortunate and avoidable”.
“The ASP that shot and two others with him have since been taken into custody. They are to be moved to the SCID for further investigation”, he tweeted.
The PDP candidate who reacted to the incident via his twitter handle said, “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. “
He said prompt action on the matter 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 Nigerian Bar Association, in particular its Lagos chapter. May her soul rest in peace. -AA,” he said.
Meanwhile, the inspector-general of police (IGP) Usman Baba has condemned the shooting and killing of Mrs Raheem and ordered speedy investigation.
Force spokesperson, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said the IGP, who described the incident as unfortunate and sad, has ordered speedy investigation and prosecution of the officers responsible for the ugly and unprofessional act, which doesn’t portray the Nigeria Police Standard Operating Procedure and core values.
In the same vein, the IGP commiserates with the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased as he prays for the repose of her soul.
He also assured the general public of justice in the case while he warns officers and men of the Force to be professional and people-oriented in the discharge of their duties and operate within the ambit of the law, as the Force’s leadership will not condone any inappropriate or unprofessional acts.
Meanwhile, Police in Lagos State have arrested an assistant superintendent of police attached to Ajah division for allegedly killing the female lawyer on Christmas Day.
Lagos State Police spokesman, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest on Monday.
He stated that two other police officers who were with the ASP were also arrested for interrogation.
According to him, “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,” he said.
The spokesman stated also that the commissioner of police in Lagos State, Mr Abiodun Alabi, had been in touch with the family of the deceased and with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) over the ugly incident.