Less than one month after six-year-old Mariam Adeniji, saw the killing of her father, Rafiu, in the Mangoro area of Lagos state, another police officer on Saturday, shot to death a father of three, Azeez Omotosho.
Azeez was allegedly shot in the presence of his seven-year-old daughter Aliya, in front of their home at Oyegunwa Street, Sogunle area of Lagos State. He was allegedly shot twice.
The primary 2 pupil tearfully recounted her experience to PUNCH Metro. She said, “My daddy, my mummy and we the children, were inside the car. When we got to the entrance of our house, my daddy saw police officers flagging down his friend’s car. He parked and wanted to help his friend but my mummy said he should not go.
“My daddy left us and went to see the officers while we went into the house. After sometime, we heard gunshots so we came outside. My daddy was on the floor. The police officer then shot my daddy again before he died.”
When our correspondent visited the family home of the deceased, sympathisers were seen coming in droves to pay condolence; Azeez’s widow, Sherifat, was nursing a seven-month-old baby.
Describing the incident as a nightmare, she said, “The incident happened around 9pm; Azeez had picked us from my shop on Aina Street. We drove to our home which is just about three streets away. Just in front of our house, Azeez saw some police officers flag down the vehicle of his friend’s brother, Samson and he went to intervene.
“I told my husband not to intervene but he said he knew the officer and would talk to him. He did not even turn off the engine of his vehicle before going. The rest of us alighted and entered our compound when we heard a gunshot.
“We quickly ran out to see what had happened. I saw the police officer touch my husband who was on the floor. When he saw that Azeez was still breathing, he shot him again. The remaining police officers fled while the killer officer held unto someone and wanted to frame the person. Look at my little children, who will take care of them for me?”
Azeez’s corpse was reportedly deposited at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital mortuary. As a result of the ongoing nationwide doctors’ strike, an autopsy on the corpse, is being delayed.
Upon the death of the 35-year-old, irate youths in the area allegedly marched down to Sogunle Police Division where the killer cop, identified as Corporal Emejo Gabriel, was said to be attached to.
He was reportedly disarmed and arrested before being transferred to Area F Police Command, Ikeja.
Elder sister to the deceased, Aishat Omotosho, told reporters that there was need for the police authorities to stop extra-judicial killings as it had become rampant.
Aishat urged the government to make sure that her brother’s corpse was released on time so he could be buried according to Islamic rites.
She said, “Azeez was a responsible man. This is not the first time police officers will be doing this; it has become common and the government must stop this trend.”
Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, however told our correspondent that the killer police officer was first attacked and beaten by hoodlums.
She said, “The incident occurred around 10pm. There was a party at Ajisegiri Street and fighting erupted in the area. Police officers came up with a ‘stop and search’ strategy to arrest the hoodlums. However, Gabriel was hit with a bottle on his head and they attempted to snatch his rifle.
“A shot was fired and a life was lost. The officer has been hospitalised while his team members have been arrested and investigations are on to determine if the officer acted in accordance with Force Order 237.”