The Lagos State Government has bowed to pressure to prosecute four cops, who were involved in the killing of two young men, who were labelled as phone thieves, in the Igando area of the state after it had said they had no case to answer.
Inspector Fabiyi Omomayara, Sergeant Olaniyi Solomon, Sergeant Solomon Sunday and Constable Aliyu Mukaila were captured on video shooting dead Segun Sholaja and Ogheneovo Ebobo after they had been arrested and restrained.
The clip, which went viral, drew wide criticisms as many called for the arrest and prosecution of the cops.
The Lagos State Police Command, in a swift reaction to the outrage, had subjected the policemen to orderly room trial, which found them guilty, and dismissed them and arraigned them for murder.
The case file was subsequently duplicated and sent to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions for legal advice.
However, the DPP, in its advice dated September 16, 2019, with reference number CB: 3514/LSXD4/Vol.6/31, exonerated the cops, saying the victims were hit by bullets during an exchange of gunfire with the police and taken to the Iba Police Station, where they died of gunshot injuries.
In the advice signed by the Director of the DPP, Babajide Martins, on behalf of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, the DPP noted that the policemen had no case to answer as they acted in self-defence.
The families of the victims had accused Martins of being an accomplice in the murder of their sons and called for a review of the advice.
However, the Ministry of Justice, on Wednesday said fresh facts had shown that the cops were culpable and would be prosecuted.
The statement said:
“This is to inform the general public that sequel to a petition received from the families of the late Segun Sholaja and Ogheneovo Ebobo alleging extra-judicial killing of the deceased persons by four personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo, has directed the immediate investigation and review of the case.
“In the course of the investigation initiated by the office of the Attorney-General/Commissioner for Justice, fresh evidence came to light indicting the concerned policemen. This has necessitated a review of the earlier legal opinion issued and the Attorney-General/Commissioner for Justice has directed that the suspects be charged for the killing of the deceased persons.
“The Attorney-General/Commissioner for Justice assures the general public of the resolve of his office to uphold the rule of law in the state.”