The Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre on Wednesday commended the Lagos State Police Command for arresting and condemning the unlawful action of four of its police officers.
The centre also condemned the extra judicial killings of two armed robbery suspects by the officers.
This is contained in a statement signed by RULAAC’s Executive Director, Okechukwu Nwanguma.
According to Nwanguma, the now two-deceased-armed-robbery suspects had already been successfully arrested and taken into police custody and before they were executed by the police officers.
He said: “RULAAC is saddened by the unwarranted and unjustifiable killings of two of four criminal suspects by four police officers attached to Iba Division Patrol on August 19, 2019.
“The police officers who responded to a distress call, successfully arrested and disarmed two of the armed robbery suspects while the other two escaped.
“However, the police officers went ahead to take laws into their hands by summarily executing the arrested suspects.
“By summarily executing the arrested suspects, the officers went beyond their duties and powers as police officers. They committed murder.”
RULAAC also commended the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, for ordering the prompt arrest and subjection of the erring police officers to internal disciplinary processes as a prelude to charging them to court.
Nwanguma said that the Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, said that the action of the police officers was contrary to the Nigeria Police Force professional standards and rules of engagement.
He said: “It also has the tendency to deplete public support and confidence in the police as well as roll back public sympathy for the police after some of their personnel were given similar unlawful and brutal treatment by some army officers Taraba” .
The director urged the Lagos State Command to remain steadfast in its exemplary disposition to discouraging, punishing and checking abuse of police powers, misuse of firearms and extrajudicial killings by officers of the command.
He said: “The prompt steps taken by the CP should send a clear message to other police officers that abuse of human rights will not and cannot be condoned.
“Such actions will not be tolerated in a democratic dispensation and that the duties of the police are to serve and protect, not to kill citizens or abuse their rights.”
Nwanguma said that RULAAC would continue to focus its attention on such cases to ensure that perpetrators of such acts are prosecuted and handed appropriate punishments as prescribed by the law of the country.
He said: “In addition to strengthening accountability processes, RULAAC will continue to advocate other measures to address police resort to brutality and unprofessional conduct.
“Such measures will include the need to reform police recruitment procedures, training and reorientation, provision of modern policing equipment and improved welfare.”