It is heartening to learn that the police ordered swift prosecution of the cops involved in the murder of Omobolanle, a pregnant lawyer.
According to reports, the mother of one was attempting to make a U-turn under the Ajah Bridge on Christmas Day after leaving a restaurant with several family members when the officer opened fire on her car.
When it was discovered that the pregnant woman who was killed was carrying twins, it hurt my heart even more. She wasn’t just killed by the police. Moreover, they wiped out two generations.
The police had shown up to perform their duties expertly. To denounce killings, demand officer prosecution, and let the matter go away on its own, they make a public statement. In order to prevent riots, protests, or to maintain the momentum, police only address crimes at their peak.
Fortunately for the police, Nigerians don’t tend to keep a grudge for very long. The paparazzi that come with being a Nigerian easily sways them. When public interest wanes and the media stop talking about the tragic murder of the expectant mother, the police also stop paying attention to the problem.
If the officers who were detained for killing the pregnant woman later turn up in uniform, we shouldn’t be shocked. Police have a history of not penalizing their officers for improper use of force; instead, they support it.
Recall Kolade Johnson, do you? The young boy was shot on March 31, 2019, while watching Tottenham play Manchester United in the English Premier League, during a police raid in Onipetesi, Lagos.
Inspector Ogunyemi Olalekan was the only officer the police let go. Thanks to the work of organizations and people who desire justice for Kolade Johnson, the officer who shot Kolade Johnson was given a life sentence three years after the shooting. This appears to be the lone instance of a police officer firing indiscriminately at a civilian and receiving punishment.
Kolade Johnson had good fortune. He was shot six times by an officer, who is now rotting in jail. Johnson’s spirit stopped roaming and went to sleep three years later. Afolabi Abiola, a technician, was unlucky. He allegedly took a bullet to the leg at the home of a friend early on April 4, 2022.
The attempt to demand justice for the deceased was rebuffed by the police, and the officer who fired the shot still has unfettered access to the streets.
Afolabi Akinola’s tragic experience is comparable to those of some Nigerians who were mistreated, attacked, or killed by the police. If we keep acting in this way, we will eventually become a nation without confidence.
It is extremely pitiful that police officers, who are supposed to protect citizens’ lives, are the ones taking them. Police chiefs should actively seek to put an end to killings in addition to condemning them.
For instances of this kind, there need to be sufficient punishment. Officers must understand that shooting at a citizen will have severe repercussions, and they cannot expect the establishment to protect them. Officers who are at war must be exposed and disciplined.
Officers need to receive sufficient training on how to handle weapons. Regular psychological testing should be done, and police officers’ welfare should be prioritized. Omobolanle Raheem is gone. She has now been added to the list of Nigerians killed by police violence.
Omobolanle, like Kolade Johnson, was the sole child of her mother. Simply put, we simply don’t want any more casualties as we demand justice. Justice is rarely as effective as prevention. Nigeria, however, has no interest in prevention.
Nigeria will win.