Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The Women Aid Collective (WACOL), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has condemned in strong terms the killing of Mrs Omobolanle Raheem, a pregnant mother, and lawyer by an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Drambi Vandi, attached to Ajiwe Police Station, Lagos State.
The Executive Director of WACOL, Prof. Joy Ezeilo, said the killing was coming barely two years after the #ENDSARS saga that brought to light the “despicable acts and atrocities of some members of the Nigerian Police Force.”
She accused the police of “turning from protecting the lives of the citizenry to taking the same arbitrarily.”
This happened “barely after a week Gafaru Buraimoh, a resident of Happy Land Estate in Ajah was killed by a stray bullet from a trigger happy inspector attached to the same division of the Nigeria Police force,” she said.
According to her, Section 33 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN), 1999, provides that: “every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offense of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.”
“We make bold to say that this noble provision of our Constitution has been abused time and time again, and this is the time to take action,” Ezeilo said.
She tasked relevant agencies to ensure that the death of Omobolanle Raheem “must not be swept under the carpet like others before now.
“The right to life of a Nigerian citizen must not be left in the hands of the police or any other individual who feels that his neighbour is unfit to live unless we are breeding a chaotic society which would in turn haunt all of us,” she said.
Ezeilo, wondered how a trained policeman could pull the trigger at a vehicle with unarmed women and children on Christmas day.
“This is inhumane, wicked, absurd, ridiculous, and barbaric. It is a crime against humanity, and we must hold someone to account.
“To this end, WACOL lends her voice to call on the Nigerian Government, the Nigerian Bar Association, the Nigeria Police Force, and the Judiciary to as a matter of urgency, thoroughly investigate, determine responsibility, and bring to justice ASP Drambi Vandi and all his accomplices. This would act as a deterrent to all those who might think that the law is silent in the face of crime.
“Train and Re-train the members of the police force in the rules of engagement and the standard operating procedures (S.O.P) to avoid a repeat of such crimes.
“Ensure that each member of the Nigerian police force receives proper medical and psychiatric attention before being posted to their various stations.
“Uphold the right to life of every citizen by giving expeditious Justice on issues of this nature.
“WACOL Condemns any form of extra judicial killings and police brutality and calls on the Nigerian Government to address this Monster,” she said.