- The presidency is pleased that justice is being served on erring SARS operatives for extra-judicial killings
- A court in Benin, Edo state recently convicted an operative of the now-defunct police unit for killing someone
- Laolu Akande, VP Yemi Osinbajo's spokesman described the ruling as progress to address reoccurring issues of police brutality
The presidency has welcomed the ruling that sentenced to death a police corporal, Joseph Omotosho, and four others found guilty who all served with the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit, over extra-judicial killing.
Omotosho and four other police constables were found guilty by the Court following their trial on an eight-count charge of conspiracy, murder, and stealing.
On Friday, February 12, a court in Benin city, the capital of Edo state, sentenced Omotosho to death for conspiring with the four other constables, (alleged to still be at large) to kill a car dealer, Benson Obodeh, in 2015.
The late Obodeh was suspected by the police to belong to a criminal gang.
The four other dismissed constables - Adeleke Adedeji, Abena John, Oniyo Musa, and Henry Shobowole – were also convicted but not sentenced because they were not present in the court.
Reacting to the ruling, the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Office of the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande, described it as progress.
Hw wrote on Twitter:
“Welcome this important court ruling where 5 DISMISSED SARS officers were convicted and one already sentenced to death. We expect more of such because indeed "justice is the first condition of humanity." We commend police authorities for earlier dismissing the convicts. Progress.”
Recall that following the #EndSARS protests nationwide, the National Economic Council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo directed the immediate establishment of state-based judicial panels of inquiry nationwide to investigate complaints of police brutality or related extra-judicial killings, while ensuring justice for all victims of the dissolved SARS and other police units.
At least 28 states have already established such panels to look into cases of police brutality nationwide.
The app was launched as a measure to ensure police arrive quickly at crime scenes anywhere in the country.
The newly-launched app is available on Android PlayStore and Apple AppStore for download. A major feature of the app is that a user can press an emergency alert button that automatically goes to the Nigeria Police Force control tower and they can swing to action.
Jerrywright Ukwu is an Abuja-based senior political/defence correspondent at Legit.ng. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. He spends his leisure-time reading history books. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.