NHRC Condemns Killing of Lagos Lawyer Bolanle Raheem by Police

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has condemned the killing of a lawyer, Mrs Bolanle Raheem, by a member of the Nigeria Police Force in Ajah, Lagos.

The Executive Secretary of the commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu, made the condemnation in a statement while reacting to the gruesome murder of Mrs Raheem on Christmas Day.

He described the incident as regrettable, adding that the officer, identified as ASP Drambi Vandi, attached to the Ajiwe Police Station, had fallen short of standard operating procedure and professional ethics of the NPF.

”The hierarchy of the Nigerian police, as a matter of necessity, should always ensure that officers who bear arms must, by all means, be mentally balanced.

“Also, must respect the rules of engagement of the police force.

”Enough is enough of these avoidable deaths,” he demanded.

Mr Ojukwu said the commission went around the country to train police officers on human rights best practices and how to mainstream human rights in law enforcement operations.

“Yet, we are still recording sad incidents of extra-judicial killings perpetrated by the police officers,” he lamented.

Mr Ojukwu commended the police high command for immediately taking necessary action to arrest and put the erring officer in custody.

He said that the organisation would continue to monitor the process of investigation and prosecution of the officer to ensure that justice was adequately served.

The executive secretary also used the opportunity to commiserate with the family of Mrs Bolanle Raheem, as well as the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

Mr Ojukwu said the unfortunate incident came as a shock to the commission, saying there “must be a permanent solution to check these forms of avoidable killings by the police.”

“It is unfortunate to know that the commission has recorded several incidents of extra-judicial killings by the police.

“The commission will do all that is within its powers to ensure that these cases are not swept under the carpet,” he said.

Mrs Raheem was shot by a police officer on Christmas Day in the Ajah area of Lagos. According to witnesses, the late victim, her sister, and four children were coming from an eatery in their car around 11 am when the police officer tried to stop them.

The husband of the deceased, who drove the car, was reportedly trying to make a U-turn under the Ajah Bridge when the cop shot at her and was taken to a hospital afterwards, where she was confirmed dead.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Usman Baba, has since ordered a probe into the shooting.

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