No fewer than 15 police officers are being detained in Lagos over the death of about 20 civilian detainees, investigations by The Point have revealed.
The deaths, it was learnt, occurred between February 2012 and July 2014, while the detained offenders were said to have killed with malice.
“The deaths were preventable,” a source hinted The Point.
The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, whois relatively new in the state, inherited most of the cases.
A source at the Police Command Headquarters in Ikeja, in a telephone conversation with The Point, confirmed the development.
He said, “There is no doubt that we have some officers in detention at the State Criminal Investigations Department, Panti Street, Yaba, Lagos. They are there because of the criminal matters hanging on their neck, and it may interest you to hear that those detained in a cell at the SCID include a Sergeant and three Corporals.
“We have an officer from Okokomaiko Division; one from the Lagos Special Anti- Robbery Squad, who took his service pistol to Edo State in December from where he recklessly killed a civilian.
The Point also gathered that the deaths occurred in police custody either through institutional settings, raids and shootings, police sieges and pursuits, among others.
“Some of these detained officers killed their fellow human beings because of N20; you may not believe it. Look, let them spend years in detention, they will legally pay for their sins,” the source said.
Families of some of the deceased victims were said to have withdrawn cases against some of the detained officers, considering the fact that no amount of punishment would ever bring back their beloved family members, who were cut short in their prime.
Reacting, a retired Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, said, “The law must take its course. Pardon or no pardon; nobody has the right to terminate the life of another. These officers know the position of the law on criminal matters, most es- pecially when it has been instituted.
“If an ordinary civilian involved in a murder case could be so detained and prosecuted, a police officer or any other person for that matter would not be exempted. There should be no selective justice.”