Olatoye Sugar's death: Between police and Nigeria frail criminal justice system (Opinion)

Olatoye Sugar's death: Between police and Nigeria frail criminal justice system (Opinion)

Editor's note: Since the advent of the current political dispensation in 1999, many notable Nigerians have lost their lives to needless political crisis.

In this article, Legit.ng's regional reporter, Adejayan Gbenga, writes about Nigeria police, administration of criminal justice and the death of some Nigerian political actors.

Criminal justice system is the system of practices and institutions of governments directed at upholding social control, mitigating crime and sanctioning those who violate laws.

The position which the police occupy is beyond mere protection of lives and property of the citizens. They are indeed considered as one of the major stakeholders in our criminal justice system.

Under the law, they are conferred with powers relating to the administration of criminal justice system such as power to arrest, investigate, arraign and other ancillary issues thereto.

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Unfortunately, it is the other way in Nigeria. What causes worry is the degree to which criminal phenomena are being perpetrated in an organisation considered ordinarily as a “friend to citizens" (police) and due to this the citizens begin to lose hope and have no confidence in the system any more.

Looking back at the late former attorney general of federation, Bola Ige, MKO Abiola and Dele Giwa's murder cases, particularly, concerning the twists that characterised the cases, our criminal system is in abject dilemma.

Following the assassination of Olatoye Temitope Sugar, who was a member of the federal House of Representatives (Lagelu /Akinyele federal constituency) and chairman, House committee on urban development and regional planning, the lawmaker was killed by gunmen at Ibadan.

It was a grotesque scene to behold as he was helplessly in a pool of his own blood, he was rushed to the University College hospital (UCH) but it was rather too late.

Olatoye was gunned down in Elesu village, Lalupon, Lagelu local government and was immediately rushed to the accident and emergency ward of the University College Hospital in Ibadan by his supporters, before being moved to the Intensive Care Unit, where doctors battled to save his life but alas! A valor was killed like an ordinary man.

Politics is supposed to be a level playing field for every patriotic and responsible individuals of a nation. It should be the noblest of all professions practised in an atmosphere of serenity and peace. It is quite unfortunate that in the real world, the hallowed chambers of politics is the dirtiest of all laced with squeamish squabbles of crime.

After the act carried out by the gunmen, the Nigerian government promised to bring those responsible for the assassination to book. It has been long that the lawmaker was killed in cold blood and his assailants are yet to be arrested let alone convicting them.

This is a national disgrace to the Nigeria police force and agencies responsible for investigation of assassination cases in Nigeria. Investigative agencies have failed to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of Olatoye Temitope Sugar.

It is disheartening that justice is yet to have its way to a murder case traced to some suspected political thugs of a rival politicians while some uncovered that the circumstances surrounding his death can help concerned individuals with curiosity to deduce the paths to the killer of Sugar.

The question on the lips of many is: Who killed Olatoye Sugar? This question keeps begging for an answer.

With our powerless, corrupt and assailable criminal justice system, fear begins to mount on citizens and the citizens begin to lose hope, trust, confidence in the Nigeria criminal justice system .

The fangs of insecurity in the nation are becoming unbearable for Nigerians and the litany of unresolved high-class murder cases is worrisome.

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The list of politically motivated assassinations is endless from the former Newswatch editor, Dele Giwa, who was killed by a letter bomb on October 19, 1986, to a nationalist and one of the founding leaders of Action Group (AG), Pa Alfred Rewane, who was murdered on October 6, 1995, to former ANPP chieftain, Marshall Henry, who was assassinated on March 5, 2003 at his residence in Abuja to the wife of former governor of Kano state, late Abubakar Rimi, Hajiya Sa’adatu Rimi who was killed on January 14, 2006, to former PDP gubernatorial candidate in Lagos, Olufunsho Williams, who was murdered on July 27, 2006, to Ekiti politician, Dr. Ayodeji Daramola, who was killed on August 14, 2006 among many others.

The question now remains: Will Sugar's killers be found? Sad to say is that when the corrupt, frail and killers are wandering searching for the killers, then the killers will never be found. However, one day, when the killers are no longer in control of the agencies in charge of investigations, then the murders may be brought to justice.

The views expressed in this interview/article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of Legit.ng. Your own opinion articles are welcome at info@corp.legit.ng — drop an email telling us what you want to write about and why.

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Olajide Olatoye, an elder brother to the late member who represented Akinyele/Lagelu federal constituency at the House of Representatives, Temitope Olatoye, popularly known as Sugar, denied rumour that his brother belonged to secret cult group while alive.

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