The protest turned violent in the Surulere area of Lagos as protesters besieged the Anti Kidnapping Unit of the Command, killing a police Inspector . Two other policemen who were shot by armed hoodlums, who hijacked the protest, were said to be in critical condition as at time of writing this report. Spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command , SP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, who confirmed the death, explained that ”
Today,(yesterday) being October 12, , 2020, at about 1pm, some armed protesters laid siege on the Anti Kidnapping Unit Office of the command, broke into the cell and liberated two of the kidnap suspects, before they were tactically and professionally repelled. “In the process, Inspr Ekei Joshua with AP No 175493, Inspr Peter Agabi with AP No 251138 and Insp Erinfolami Ayodeji with AP No 229241(now late) attached to the Anti Kidnapping Unit of Lagos State Command, located at Iyun Road, Surulere were shot and critically injured.
They have been rushed to the Intensive Care Unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. In addition, the protesters fired and killed one Ikechukwu Ilohamauzo, 55 years, a driver of one Toyota Sienna bus, with registration number LSD 296 FX, who got stuck in the traffic caused by the blockage of the road by the violent protesters, in Surulere today. It is pertinent to state that the attacked police inspectors and Mr Ikechukwu Ilohamauzu were hit and injured by pellets reasonably fired from pump actions/locally-made guns.
The corpses of the deceased have been deposited in a mortuary for autopsy. “The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has urged protesters to be peaceful and avoid violent attacks on police personnel or any other security agents. Also, he warned them not to harass innocent Lagosians by picketing them to forcefully join the protests and should avoid blocking access routes or roads for other Nigerians who are as well entitled to their fundamental human rights “He also appealed to parents and guardians to keep watch on their children and monitor their activities to avoid being mobilised and used for illegal activities in the state.
“However, four suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident. The Commissioner has ordered the Homicide section of the SCID, Yaba, Lagos to carry out thorough investigation into the incident for further police actions. Expect upsurge in robberies, kidnappings- Security alerts Nigerians Meanwhile, reactions have begun to trail the disbandment of SARS with warning that it would witness an upsurge in violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping and armed banditry. National President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria, AISSON Dr Ona Ekhomu, in a statement signed by his Personal Assistant, Tope Adesuyi, said , “Violent criminals are aware that SARS has been scrapped.
Since there was no orderly transition from one crime combating agency to another, the terrorists and criminals will exploit the confusion during the interregnum to unleash mayhem on Nigerians.” Dr. Ekhomu suggested that given the probability of spike in violent crimes, the police agency must create a new elite unit dedicated to crime-combating within seven days in order to deny robbers and kidnappers the opportunity to slaughter innocent citizens.
The security expert said: “It behooves the police agency to quickly respond to the challenge of controlling violent crimes in the country. Nigeria is already the third most terrorized country in the world. It will be totally unacceptable for violent crimes to rise higher than current high levels. SARS or no SARS, the police must competently perform its constitutional duty”.
Noting that the excesses and abuses of SARS were well documented, Ekhomu stated that “ any successor elite anti-violent crime squad must be given the imperatives of accountability ,responsibility and integrity. The unit must be properly supervised to avoid a repeat of the history of SARS of gross abuse of the rights of Nigerians. He also called for comprehensive police reforms to enable the Nigeria Police Force fulfill its constitutional role of maintaining law and order, even as he advised against cosmetic reforms, advising the Federal Government to institute a committee that would map out far-reaching reforms to create greater effectiveness and efficiency in crime control.
He further advised the Federal authorities to mandate the police agency to publish semi-annual crime statistics to enable a metrics based measurement of police performance, adding that that drug testing should be mandatory for all personnel of the new squad “as many SARS personnel were accused by citizens of being drug abusers. It was alleged by some that the psychotropic substances taken was to enable them cope with the stress of the job”.