Abayomi Sadiku, a legal practitioner, has written a petition to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in Lagos, explaining how the Nigeria Police Force shielded an officer attached to the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad from prosecution after killing two persons in Lagos.
The lawyer said the SARS officer on February 15, 2012, killed the two people identified as Mr Endurance Omonyahuy and Mr Sikiru Amusa after they failed to give him a bribe.
He lamented that despite petitions directed to Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, in 2015 and the involvement of Minister of Justice, Abubakar Salami, the officer was never tried and the families of the victims were yet to get justice.
He said the police labelled the victims armed robbers as they tried to protect the killer officer.
Narrating how it happened, the lawyer said, “In the early hours of the fateful day of February 15, 2012 when Inspectors Niyi Oladapo, Adedeji Olusegun and Corporal Uche Smart, who were part of an anti-robbery patrol team, Igando Police Station, Idimu, Lagos State, demanded a bribe from Endurance Omonyahuy and Sikiru Amusa, the men refused to accede to this and in return Inspector Niyi Oladapo fired a shot which hit Sikiru and also pierced through Endurance, killing both of them.
“Sequel to our intervention, the killer-cops who had hitherto tried to cover up their dastardly act by initially labelling the innocent men as armed robbers and later changing their story to that they were killed by armed robbers, eventually realised that they had no choice but to come clean in the face of the overwhelming evidence we gathered against them, including eye witnesses accounts.
“They then confessed to what actually transpired and even made formal confessional statements which are all still on record."
The lawyer said in the bid to get justice, a petition was written to the then Inspector-General of Police and another to the former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof Chidi Odinkalu.
He noted that the officer was put to orderly trials and was subsequently charged to court for prosecution.
The lawyer, however, said the police failed to provide the killer officer at the court and was eventually released by then police provost named Mr Aloba.
He said, “After these efforts, two separate orderly room trials were conducted at both the S.C.I.D., Panti, Lagos State, and also at the Force Headquarters in Abuja on the orders of the erstwhile Inspector General of Police. And upon a legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions, Lagos State, clearly stating that a prima facie case of murder was established against the killer-cop, a criminal action was instituted at the Lagos State High Court vide charge No: LCD/184/2012 [The State of Lagos v. Inspector Niyi Oladapo] before his lordship, Justice Opesanwo.
“Though the then Lagos State Attorney-General, Mr Ade Ipaye (SAN) did his best, the prosecution of this gruesome, inhumane and the dastardly act was frustrated by the actions of the police.
“The accused person was never produced in court despite several production warrants served on the Police Provost, Mr Aloba. The Attorney-General of Lagos State had to intervene by sending a stern letter dated April 24, 2014 to the then Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, asking him to intervene in the production of the accused.
“Our Managing Partner, Mr Abayomi Sadiku, followed up by travelling to Abuja from Lagos to meet with successive Inspectors-General of Police, until his meeting of November 12, 2014 with Mr Suleiman Abba, the IGP as at then, who promptly put a telephone call through to the then Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Mr Kayode Aderanti, instructing him to ensure the production of the accused in court.
“However, upon thorough investigation by the said Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, it was discovered that the accused had been released on the order of the former Provost, Mr Aloba, and was subsequently nowhere to be found, thereby effectively frustrating the effort to bring him to justice.
“This shameful and disappointing development dealt a fatal blow to the prosecution’s case as the matter had to be struck-out pending when the fugitive cop will be apprehended and produced in court to face his criminal trial."
The lawyer said despite shielding the officer, the police also refused to comply with an order of the court that directed the force to pay monetary compensation to the family of the victims.
He noted that while pushing for the enforcement of the judgment, the father of late Amusa died after illness with no treatment.
“It was in the course of waiting for the elusive justice that Mr Segun Amusa, the 3rd applicant and father to the late Sikiru Amusa, died. It is noteworthy that before his death, we caused yet another petition to be written to the Attorney-General of the Federation to please intervene in getting the police to pay the said judgment sum due to these families so that the ailing man could treat himself lest he died, but all to no avail until the man eventually died of a disease that was curable if only he had the funds to access the needed medical treatment.
“But this is now a tale of “if only”. Stack reality is that Mr Segun Amusa is dead because justice was denied him.
“Also, the Presidency through the office of the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), who is not only a fellow minister in the temple of justice but also an advocate for human rights, was also petitioned on the matter and he formally referred the matter to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), for action but injustice still prevails.
“The accused person has not been brought to face justice and neither has the Judgment sum, a product of the extant and potent Judgment of the court, been paid to the families of the victims!"
The lawyer beckoned on Governor Sanwo-Olu to get justice for the duo of late Omonyahuy and Amusa as the state was reviewing cases of brutality and extrajudicial killings by SARS operatives.