On Christmas Day, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) fatally shot a female lawyer from Lagos named Bolanle Raheem in the Ajah region of the state, shocking and infuriating Nigerians on social media.
Ajah Police Station’s nameless officer and his colleagues allegedly attempted to halt the lawyer and her family as they were traveling back home from a Christmas Day church service.
According to reports, Bolanle Raheem was shot when the vehicle she was in attempted to perform a U-turn beneath the Ajah Bridge. The patient was transported to a hospital but was later declared dead.
Assuring the public that justice will be served, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, confirmed the occurrence but called it “unfortunate and avoidable.”
“The ASP that shot and two others with him have since been taken into custody,” Hundeyin tweeted on Monday.
He added that the police officers would be transferred to Panti’s State Criminal Investigation Department for additional inquiry.
“The Lagos State Police Command condoles with the family, friends and colleagues of Barrister Bolanle Raheem. The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, CP Abiodun Alabi, has been in touch with the family and the Nigerian Bar Association since yesterday and has given firm assurances that justice will definitely prevail.”
Usman Baba, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), denounced Raheem’s shooting and death on Monday.
Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said in a statement that the IGP, who called the situation tragic and sad, ordered a prompt inquiry and prosecution of the officers responsible for the obscene and unprofessional behaviour.
The IGP claimed that the behavior does not reflect the basic principles and SOP of the Nigerian Police.
“In the same vein, the IGP commiserates with the family, friends, and colleagues of the deceased as he prays for the repose of her soul.
“He further assures the general public of justice in the case while he warns officers and men of the Force to be professional and people-oriented in the discharge of their duties and operate within the ambit of the law, as the Force’s leadership will not condone any inappropriate or unprofessional acts,” the statement read.
Some Nigerians have taken to Twitter to express their frustrations.
“A Nigerian Police Officer from Ajiwe division shot and killed Bolanle Raheem on Xmas day. It is from this same division an Officer killed Gafaru Buraimoh about 2 weeks ago. This barbarism by the Nigerian Police must come to an end. These Murderers must pay for their crimes!!!” @mrmacaronii tweeted.
“Bolanle Raheem was my real estate agent. She supported me in my goal and was always cheering me on. She was so hardworking , positive and such a cheerful spirit. She has a husband and child. I can’t even say more. The Nigerian police are killers,” one @bolanleolukanni said on her Twitter account.
“Police commission needs to stop the recruitment of nonentities to the Nigerian Police.They need to set up psychiatric commission that will test the mental balance of these recruits to also make them know that the guns they carry is to protect innocent citizens,” a twitter user with the handle @t_tbabs9 said.
One Joseph Peter Said: “I remember a Nigerian police pointing a gun at me telling he was going to kill me while caulking the gun. If I didn’t give them my phone, my money and get into their car Since then I knew the definition of Evil. It is the Nigerian Police.”
The Nigerian Bae Association responded in a statement and said; “We are aware of this unfortunate incident. This is yet another crime against a lawyer. Regrettably, our member is gone…We shall ensure that justice is duly served.”