Nigeria’s inspector general of police, Mohammed Adamu, has said principal officers of the Nigeria Police Force will be sanctioned if personnel under their supervision is found guilty of the misuse of firearms.
“I have already ordered that a signal be circulated to all police commands and formations, warning of dire consequences against any personnel that, by their incorrigible acts, deviate from accepted police culture and values,” Adamu said during a visit to Lagos State Police Command.
“Furthermore, the line supervisors of such officer, including the Area Commander, Divisional Police Officer or Sectional Head, shall be held vicariously liable for lacking supervision and shall, be similarly sanctioned.”
About six persons, particularly youths have been killed in the last three weeks as a result of indiscriminate use of firearms by police officers.
The month of March 2019 had recorded the most number of reported killings by the police in the country in recent times. It began on March 2 with some trigger-happy police officers shooting a bus driver dead in Mosan, Ayobo area of Lagos for refusing to part with money.
Two weeks after, a teenage girl was killed by a stray bullet in a shootout between policemen and some cultists in Ikorodu, while on March 25, last week Thursday, an Okada rider was shot dead in Kilo, Surulere area of Lagos.
A young man, identified as Kolade Johnson, was shot dead on Sunday, March 31 by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). And most recently, trigger-happy policemen attached to the Lagos State police command shot two persons at the weekend.
Nigeria police boss Adamu said the killings by the officers was not a true reflection of the force and promised to put a stop to the stern.
“I must emphasise that enough is enough. The nation and indeed the police under the current leadership can no longer tolerate abuse associated with the police either in Lagos or any other part of the country,” Adamu said.
“My visit has become expedient in view of the recent trend of unprofessional conducts by some personnel who, in utter disregard of their professional training, international protocols, constitutional dictates, Force policies, and ethical standards, have continued to drag the Force into acts that pitch us against the citizens we were engaged, paid, and statutorily obligated to serve and protect.”
While lamenting the killings, Adamu said an administrative approach has been put in place to curb unprofessional conducts in the police.
“From January to April 2019, Lagos State has recorded four incidents of misuse of firearms which have resulted in extrajudicial killings of young citizens of this country and injury to others.”
“Our visit is to reinforce the extent Force Accountable Policy which holds any officer professionally and criminally liable for the consequences of their actions, particularly, if such misuse of power resulted into the death, injury or indignity of citizens.
He warned any “police personnel that insists on being incorrigible by engaging in abuse of his or her powers or misuses his weapons with fatal outcomes and in utter disregard of statutory provisions will be arrested, investigated through our internal disciplinary machinery and if found culpable, shall be dismissed from service.”