By Chimezie Godfrey
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday said there would be no cover-up in the investigation and prosecution of the culprit(s) involved in the murder of the late lawyer, Mrs. Bolanle Raheem, who was killed on Christmas Day by a police officer.
He said the outcome of investigations of the case is very important to the Government and people of Lagos State, stressing that the people deserved to know the process leading to justice for the victim.
Governor Sanwo-Olu stated this earlier on Thursday morning during his visit to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali at the Police headquarters in Abuja.
He said: “We have come here this morning first to extend season greetings to the Inspector-General of Police and also to get an update and to brief him as to the security situation of Lagos State, especially the very recent unfortunate incident of the death of a lady, Mrs. Omotola Raheem by a bullet of a Police officer and also an earlier incident that occurred weeks before then.
“We really need to get a sense of security architecture in the state and what we need to do. First is to condemn the very unfortunate incident, to express the grief of the government and the people of Lagos State, and to say how very unfortunate at this period in our time to have incidents like this. But beyond that is really how do we ensure that incidents like this are reduced to the barest minimum and what can government do that we are not currently doing that we can do to help the Nigerian Police, the Lagos State Police Command and how do we ensure that we have better collaboration because we did not have any other police force.
“For me as the governor of the state, I think it is important and it is that serious for us to come here and get a sense of how soon we can get to charge this officer to court. And we have gotten a very positive response and engagement from the Inspector General of Police himself.”
Speaking further on the importance of his meeting with the Inspector-General of Police, Governor Sanwo-Olu said his government will continually work with the Nigeria Police in providing additional equipment like body cameras and a joint advocacy programme to enhance and improve public and police communication.
“We are indeed hoping that this meeting will be very useful. There are a lot of things we are taking back. We have called the Commissioner of Police even while we were here and he has also briefed us as to what they are doing in Lagos. Essentially, it is to continue to work with the Police, the things that we can do around providing some additional equipment that you can use; things around body cameras, and ensuring that we can jointly have an advocacy programme that can enhance and improve public and police communication.
“What are the roles of engagement, who needs to do what so that we can have a better community and community policing and a better citizens-police engagement. We need to ensure that nothing is left undone, no cover-up of any sort in this particular case and that the full arm of the law is put in place to ensure that the officer is apprehended and has his day in court.
“It is one of our responsibilities coming here to get a sense of the additional level of support from the Inspector General of Police with his men in Lagos and other parts of the country,” he said.
Also speaking, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, assured Governor Sanwo-Olu that there will not be any cover-up in handling the case of the deceased lawyer and the culprit.
“Governor Sanwo-Olu is here to find out about how far we have gone in terms of investigating the incident that happened in Lagos on Christmas Day. I can assure him that this incident will be investigated. The Attorney-General of Lagos State will intervene in the case for him to take over the prosecution from the Police.
“I can assure you that there is no going to be any hanky-panky on the issue. We are also saddened about the incident. I want to again extend my condolences to the family of the late Bolanle Raheem, the husband, and the entire family. I also wish to extend my condolence to the government and the people of Lagos State and Nigeria at large.
“We will continue to improve on how our officers will engage in the use of a firearm. At the same time, we also want to appeal to Nigerians to be responsible. They should help the Police by way of supervision and making their work easy. I want to assure the members of the public that their case will be dealt with,” he assured.