A Magistrate’s Court in Yaba, Lagos State, has remanded two of the four police inspectors in court for allegedly murdering a man, Buraimoh Gafaru, in the state’s Ajah region.
Johnson Ime and Edet Effiong are the suspects.
Ime, Effiong, Etederhi Obaseki, and Harrison Ike, police officers assigned to the Ajah Police Divisional Headquarters, were engaged in the event, which occurred on December 6, 2023, at an estate in Sangotedo, Ajah.
On January 30, 2023, it was reported that the four police officers, while on patrol on the day of the event, visited an estate in the region where suspected hoodlums were tented, and the hoodlums ran when they saw the cops as one of them was caught.
When attempting to push the suspect into their vehicle, the hoodlums allegedly reassembled to release their comrade, and Ime and Effiong were claimed to have fired rounds at them, killing Gafaru with a stray bullet.
A stray gunshot struck Gafaru as he exited Skymall Shopping Center, where he had gone to watch a football match that evening, according to the deceased’s sister, Folashade Ibrahim, and an eyewitness, Adebayo Olatunji.
On the day of the arraignment, one of the two alleged innocent inspectors, Obaseki and Ike, protested that they had been exonerated by the Divisional Police Officer and the police provost disciplinary committee because they did not fire any shots during the attack but were still being held by the State Criminal Investigation Department.
Nevertheless, the Investigating Police Officer, SP Christopher Onyeisi, revealed before judge Salawu why the two cops were arrested.
He said, “They were taken to the Ikeja provost and the two defendants, Ime and Edet, were found to have committed the offence while the other two, Ike and Obaseki, were subjected to further investigation.
“While the investigation was ongoing, we received an order to charge all of them while the case file should be duplicated and sent to the DPP.
“The police ordered to exonerate the two but the DPP said no, that we should charge all four.”
The police prosecutor, Thomas Nurudeen, told the court that the defendants, Ime and Effiong, were charged with two counts of unlawful killing with arms.
Nurudeen added that the offences contravened Section 233 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2015.
The charge read in part, “That you, Johnson Imeh and Effiong Edet, on December 6, 2022, around 10pm at an estate in, Sangotedo, Ajah, Lagos State, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did unlawfully killed the deceased, one Buraimo Gafaru, by firing him with AK 47 rifle and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 233 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2015.”
The prosecutor requested that the defendants be remanded in a custodial centre pending the DPP’s advice.
Granting the request, the Magistrate, P. E Nwaka, ordered that the policemen be remanded in a custodial centre pending the DPP’s advice.
The case was adjourned till March 22, 2023.
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