Sunday, 11 August 2013

Recent Badagry Killing: Police Commiserate With Families, Gather Evidence

Recent Badagry Killing: Police Commiserate With Families, Gather Evidence
A special  police team set up by the  Lagos State police command to investigate the lynching of two men Ifechukwudi Nwanikpor (25) and Kazeem Onayemi (26) by villagers from  the Tozukame  community in Ajara, Badagry, has begun gathering evidence against the suspects.
The team is said to be headed by a  former Officer -In-Charge of the Homicide Department of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba.
Other officers are said to have been drawn from the State Intelligence Bureau as well as other police formations in the state.

A source, who requested anonymity said that the team was set up to carry out a thorough investigation of the lynching following the role the officers attached to the Badagry police station played while the victims were murdered in cold blood. Prior evidence showed that they did nothing but watch as both men were killed.
It was also gathered that the DPO of the Badagry police station has since been transferred  for calling the victims  armed robbers before an investigation was carried out.
A new DPO is expected at the station on Monday.
The special team has since visited the families of the deceased at Ajara  to commiserate with them and also take statements and exhibits of the daylight murder.
Last week, the policemen also visited the scene of the crime, where the victims were murdered and gathered the planks and other objects used by the villagers in the killing on July 21.

Arrests made
It was gathered that the team arrested about nine persons in connection with the murder including the traditional ruler of Agamathen, a ruler in Tozukame community.
Also, the police team arrested the station officer of the Badagry police station Inspector Adefemi Ashagbon  for his role in the lynching. All are said to be in custody at the State Command in Ikeja.
The deceased were killed and labelled armed robbers but video clips, which went viral on YouTube shows how they were framed and murdered in cold blood.
A second video clip also exposed the policemen identified as Inspector Adefemi Ashogbon, the station officer of the Badagry Police Station and one Sergeant John Sonayon as they stood and allowed the jungle justice; the video clip also shows a police van with  a team of policemen at the scene.
Narrating how his son was lynched, Samuel Nwanikpor said, “I was in Ghana when I heard about my son’s death. He is my first son and he died innocently. I was told that he went with Kazeem to see a Clearing Agent at Tozukame community in Badagry. They told me that Kazeem picked a quarrel with a boy over an undisclosed issue. The mother of the boy then raised alarm and started calling Kazeem and my son thieves.
“That was how the villagers came out and because their faces were strange in the community, they held on to them as the woman kept calling them thieves. I learnt that the head of the Vigilante group in the area called Ashirigbo was invited and he came with a gun and a handcuff and  handcuffed the boys together but as he was trying to put his local  gun into his trouser, the gun misfired and shot him in the stomach. He died instantly. His death infuriated the villagers and that was how they descended on these boys and started beating them.
“The Baale(traditional ruler)  came and saw them beating them and he encouraged them to continue to hit them with the planks and stick until they died. The police were invited and they too stood and watched while the villagers lynched them. The police went on to plant gun on them that they were armed robbers but nobody could say what they stole or whom they robbed. They were just murdered in cold blood. I’m devastated. This kind of thing don’t happen anywhere. I’m very glad that the video clips was available to  prove their innocence and how they were brutally murdered. It’s the only evidence that exposed their killers and it’s a shame the police did nothing to stop the lynching.,” Mr. Nwanikpor said.

Disappointed with the police
Tajudeen Onayemi, Kazeem’s 57-year-old father said he is disappointed with the police.
“It is sad enough that my only son was killed in cold blood and labelled an armed robber, which has been proven that he was not. I’m terribly sad because the police, who one should run to when in distress, are the same people, who stood and did nothing to stop the lynching. To say that I’m disappointed is an understatement.
“I have lost faith in life. I have lost faith in the Nigerian police. Where will I get another son from? I told the DPO  in Badagry that my son was not an armed robber. I can vouch for him. I was with him on Saturday, a day before he was killed and I gave him money for his upkeep. Somebody called me and said my son was with police that he was an armed robber and they have killed him with his friend but I said it was a lie that my son is not a thief.
“I went to the DPO and he told me my son was an armed robber but I told him he was mistaken. After running helter skelter without help from the police, I went to the Badagry morgue and I was told they dumped their corpses on the floor. I cried bitterly that my son’s blood will avenge his killing. I have not brought myself to watch the video of their lynching. I know if I watch it, I will faint. Kazeem was learning alumaco (aluminium fabricating) and was due to get his freedom (graduate) in December. He has a girlfriend he was serious with but they wasted my son’s bright life. He was extremely friendly and jovial and he loved Chelsea football club. He looked so much like I and I will continue to mourn him. Though I’m poor and not learned, I will fight for his justice. Kazeem will not die in vain,”  Onayemi said.
The families called for the transfer of all the policemen attached to the Badagry police station as they accused them of nepotism.
“Most of the policemen in Badagry police station are Egun from Ajara, Badagry. They hardly get transfer out of the station. They took sides with the villagers during the lynching because they are from the community. This is not acceptable and the CP has to transfer them and bring policemen, who are detribalised, people, who indeed are trained to protect lives and property so such thing do not happen again,” Nwanikpor said.

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