Kolade Johnson’s alleged murder: Policeman acted within rules of engagement – defence

Mr Abayomi Omotubora, counsel to Ogunyemi Olalekan, a dismissed police inspector accused of killing Kolade Johnson,  35, at a viewing centre in Lagos, on Thursday said that the defendant acted within the rules of engagement.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Omotubora  made the submission at Olalekan’s  trial before an Ikeja High Court.

He was  cross-examining the fourth prosecution witness, ASP Chris Akpanomo, the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) of the case.

Questioning Akpanomo, Omotubora said, “The incident occurred as a result of the defendant carrying out his lawful duty as a police officer.

“As the IPO, you will agree that all the facts contained in the statement are true. Are you also aware of what Force 237 is?”

Responding, Akpanomo said that the murder  occurred while Olalekan was carrying out his lawful duty as a policeman.

He said that the defendant had said in his statement that he and his team members were violently attacked by some youths while trying to arrest a suspect.

“Force Order 237 states that if an officer is attacked and there is no other way to save himself, he should use a firearm.

“It states that if another officer is being attacked and there is no other way to save the officer, a firearm can be used,” he said.

The IPO noted that a scenario where a police officer is being attacked and disarmed for the purpose of his weapon being taken away also falls under those  envisaged by Force Order 237.

Akpanomo  also testified during cross-examination that during his investigation, he never saw the corpse of the deceased and that a ballistic test was not conducted on the defendant’s weapon.

“An autopsy was conducted and it is only a doctor that can reveal the cause of death. I was not the one who signed the coroner’s form.

“Since the defendant said that he fired the weapon, there was no need for a ballistic test,” he said.

Earlier, while being led in evidence by prosecutor counsel, Mr Adebayo Haroun, Akpanomo said that he had 30 years experience as a policeman.

He said that he was attached to the Homicide Section of the Force State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Panti, when the case was assigned to him.

Narrating his findings, he said: “On April 4, 2019, a case of murder was transferred from Shasha Police Station; the case was referred to me. On receipt of the file, the defendant made his statement.

“In his statement, the defendant said he led a team of policemen who arrested a young man carrying dada (dreadlocks) who was with his girlfriend.

“The girlfriend left to inform those watching a football match, of the arrest. They went to rescue the suspect and it resulted in a rowdy session. The defendant fired a bullet and the deceased died.

“He gave his statement under caution and when he was brought in, he said he was not in the right state of mind to write. He dictated the statement and he signed it.

“Before the matter was brought to Panti, the corpse was taken to the mortuary where a post-mortem was done.”

Justice Adenike Coker adjourned the case until March 5 for continuation of trial, and ordered that Olalekan should be further remanded at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre.

NAN reports that according to Mr Yhaqub Oshoala, the Lagos State Director of the Public Prosecution (DPP), Olalekan, who worked with the Special Anti-Cultism Squad of the Nigeria Police Force, committed the alleged murder  at 5.10p.m. on March 31, 2019, on Onipetesi Estate, Mangoro area of Lagos.

“The former police inspector unlawfully killed Johnson by shooting him with a AK47 rifle on the lower abdomen.

“The offence contravenes Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015,” Oshoala said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 223 prescribes death sentence for anyone convicted of murder. (NAN)

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