The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has warned that enough is enough of incessant police killings across the nation and especially in Lagos.
IGP Adamu who lamented frequent cases of extra-judicial killings by policemen, however, warned that henceforth Supervisors, Divisional Police Officers and Area Commanders would be held responsible and liable for any extra-judicial killing and indiscriminate use of firearms.
The IGP who gave the warning at Police College, Lagos, while addressing officers and men of the command said it was with a deep sense of professional concern that he visited the state command to address personnel of the force in the state.
“This visit has become expedient in view of recent trend of unprofessional conduct by some personnel who in utter disregard to their professional training, international protocol, constitutional dictates, force policies and ethical standards have continued to drag the force into act that pitches us against the citizens we were engaged, paid, and statutory obligated to serve and protect.
“From January to April, Lagos State recorded four incidents of misuse of firearms which have resulted in extra-judicial killings of young citizens of this country and injury to others. More worrisome is that two of those incidents occurred within the last two weeks. Aside negating on our professional callings, extra-judicial act of any descriptions or level by any police personnel is an unacceptable anomaly that creates distrust and disdain between the citizens and their police and widens the trust gap between them, even most concerning is that the fatalities that resulted from such indiscretional deployments of lethal force leave behind trials of unbearable internal pains and sorrows within the families, friends and associates of the victims.
“No component of our laws or international protocols authorises the unlawful killing or degrading treatment of fellow citizen as law enforcement agents and no element of our professional training permits any police personnel to deploy lethal weapons either consciously or otherwise except as provided in our status and in Force Order 237. Unfortunately, all the recent incidents of misuse of firearms in Lagos State violated these provisions.
“Therefore, our visit to Lagos State is to make a number of clear statements. First, is to condole the families of victims of the recent incidents of misuse of firearms or other forms of abuse of power by identified police personnel in the state and to share in their grief. Second is to reassure citizens that the police do not and will never condone any forms of abuse of power, an act resulting in misuse of firearms overzealousness and sundry unprofessional conducts by members of the police, regardless of his rank or position. Thirdly, our visit is to reinforce the extant force and accountability policy which holds any officer professionally and criminally liable for the consequences of their actions, particularly if such misuse of power resulted into death, injury or indignity of the citizens. Towards this end, I am sounding this note of warning loud and clear that any police personnel that insists on being incorrigible in abuse of his or her powers or misuse his weapons with fatal outcome in utter disregard to statutory provisions will be arrested, investigated, and if found culpable shall be dismissed from the service and charged to court for murder or sundry offences.”
The IGP further said that to minimise extra-judicial killings, in the long term, rather than the use of firearms.
“We shall henceforth use less lethal technologies and weapon system such as electro-muscular disruption technology which is commonly known as taser or stun guns by police for routine patrols, arrest duties and other low-risk operations as a strategic approach towards reducing incidents of fatality associated with misapplication of lethal weapons by the police as first line of response to any threat.
“Finally I console the families of victims of police misconduct in Lagos state and other parts of the country; I assure them that justice must be done. I also admonish police personnel to rededicate themselves to a high professional standard.”