The Human & Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has expressed dissatisfaction over the widely reported arrest of some security guards and a passer-by widow with three children, at Brooks Estate in Magodo, Lagos by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, on Saturday, January 1st, 2022.
It was reported and admitted by the force that the Commissioner of Police was on a “private social visit” to a friend holding a function in the estate, thus, was expected to act in a civil manner to befit his class in the society.
“More so, it was expected of Mr. Odumosu to show a sense of mental maturity by playing by the rules guiding entry and exit of the estate executed by the security guards. As we know, there are rules guiding every territory, since Mr. Commissioner was not going for a war (where protocol in an environment may be thwarted), one expected him to follow the due process at the main gate as it is obtained in every organized clime”.
“We are not ignorant of those sentiments which triggered the CP’s actions against those diligent security guards. The brouhaha -particularly the gridlock at Isheri, this incident has caused is disturbing and highly condemnable.
“We are also not unaware that the Nigeria police would not spare anyone who tries to disobey its protocol at the entry point of its facilities or anyone who resists its security personnel at the gate. If the publics are expected to cooperate with the police at any point in time, why would the police not respect other people’s rules?
“Recall that there are so many reports in the past against the outgoing Commissioner of police being promoted to Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) on human rights abuses and abuse of office. A typical instance was the case of American woman Kari Ann R’ouke, who sued Mr Odumosu in March 2021, in a Federal High Court in Lagos, for alleged illegal detention, and demanded N100million as compensation. According to her, her continued detention without being charged is illegal and unconstitutional, therefore asked the court to free her from the custody of the police.
“More so, in 2021, Justice Akintayo Aluko of the Federal High Court in Lagos State, ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to obey an order seeking the release of a truck unlawfully seized and detained by the Divisional Police Officer and the Divisional Crime Officer of the Isolo Police Division, Lagos State, since December 21, 2020, under the watch of CP Odumosu.”
It said Justice Aluko also ordered the IGP to produce the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, and the other officers who were co-respondents in court for contempt proceedings over alleged violation of the court’s order.
“A stunning report by a polemicist- Elias Ozikpu, published by Shahara Reporters described Mr Odumosu as “an extremely lawless, sycophantic policeman who only roars during protests. The writer added: “Since becoming Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu has literally made himself superior to the provisions of Nigeria’s Constitution.” There are many more instances of abuses of human rights and office begging for redress.
“On this note, we reiterate that in our quest to protect and promote universally recognized human rights, accountability and environmental justice in Nigeria and Africa, in accordance with International standards, through research and publications, campaigns, human rights education and empowerment projects and programmes, we in the civic space would never keep silent over any action or inaction targeted at citizens to dehumanize them.
“As permanent enemy of oppression and exploitation perpetuated by sadists across from different quarters, we call on the IGP to begin to “work on the ego to officers and men of the force” to make them begin to treat Nigerians ‘as human beings, NOT ‘Like’ human beings or anything less than human. Following the wide condemnation of police brutality in recent past, Nigerians expect to see the fruits (positive changes) in the ongoing mental, emotional, psychological rebirth of Police personnel.
“We invite the Inspector General of Police to order an investigation into the misuse of privilege by the Lagos Commissioner of Police and further call on Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu, as the elected Governor of State and Chief Security officer to apologize to the affected victims of Mr. Odumosu’s breach of public peace and violation of human rights.”