The Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has spoken against police harassment of young people in Nigeria.
Mr Gbajabiamila, in a Twitter post on Tuesday, said, “Reports of @PoliceNG harassment of young people have become so rampant that they barely even break through the news cycle except when public anger becomes so great that it results in a breakdown of law and order.”
He was reacting to the violent protest in Sagamu, Ogun State, over the alleged killing of a young footballer, Tiyamiyu Kazeem, by some police officers.
Five people, including two police officers, have reportedly been killed in the protest. PREMIUM TIMES is yet to verify this information.
Mr Kazeem, arrested on the suspicion that he was an Internet fraudster (Yahoo boy), was reportedly crushed to death by a car after he was pushed out of a vehicle by police officers.
The police have denied the allegation.
“In the last few days, we have all witnessed as the city of Sagamu in Ogun State has been unsettled by an orgy of violence resulting from the extrajudicial killing of a young footballer by officers of @PoliceNG,” Mr Gbajabiamila tweeted.
“We can no longer stand for this, and we will not. @HouseNGR has a responsibility to speak for our citizens and we will continue to do so even when it is inconvenient.
“We must fix @PoliceNG, restore public confidence and make the institution once more deserving of the true faith and support of the Nigerian people,” he added.
The speaker said a public hearing has been convened by the House to look at ways to “improve the capacity of the police to deliver on its obligations to our people”.
The human rights group, Amnesty International, in its reaction to the Sagamu crisis, has been tweeting the content of a report it released in 2016 on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a notorious arm of the police.
“This lack of accountability in Nigeria Police breeds and perpetuates impunity, creating an environment where SARS officers believe they have carte blanche to carry out acts of torture, extortion and extrajudicial killings,” Amnesty tweeted on Monday.
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, Tuesday, announced the disbandment of the squad, the Zonal Intervention Squad, in Ogun, and the arrest of the officers involved in the alleged killing of the footballer.