Condolences and condemnations are being expressed across Nigeria over the Christmas day killing by a yet-to-be-identified police officer of Omoblanle Raheem, a Lagos-based lawyer.
Many Nigerians have taken to social media to express outrage over the killing and call for justice for the deceased.
Prominent Nigerians who have sent their condolences to the bereaved family include Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba; and a former vice president Atiku Abubakar.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mrs Raheem was fatally shot by an assistant superintendent of police attached to the Ajiwe police division in the Ajah area of Lagos.
On Monday, the Lagos police spokesperson said the killer cop had been arrested.
IGP, Atiku, Sanwo-Olu, others call for prosecution of the killer cop
In a statement signed by the police spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, on Monday, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Baba, condoled the family of the deceased.
He said the action of the police officer does not represent the core values of the Nigeria Police Force.
According to the statement, Mr Baba has ordered a “speedy investigation and prosecution of the officers responsible for the ugly and unprofessional act, which doesn’t portray the Nigeria Police Standard Operating Procedure and core values.”
Atiku, the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), condemned the shooting, describing it as “heartbreaking.” The former vice president called for the reformation of the policing system.
“This latest shooting calls to attention the urgent need for Police reforms that will sanitise the Force and bring it in line with best policing practices,” he tweeted.
“I call on the police authorities and the Justice system to expedite action on the matter, as justice delayed is justice denied.
“This will serve as a deterrent to the incidents of the irresponsible shooting of innocent citizens by law enforcement agents.”
Mr Sanwo-Olu, the state governor, described the news of the incident as shocking and sad.
“My condolences to her family, friends and associates,” he tweeted. “I can assure you that justice will be served.”
Also, a human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, via his Twitter handle, said he and some other people have paid a condolence visit to the Lagos lawyer’s family.
In one of the pictures that accompanied his tweets, the lawyer identified a man whose hands were on his head as the husband of the deceased.
“He could barely utter a word while we were in his house,” Mr Effiong said of the grieving husband.
He urged the police to publicly identify the killer cop.
He also said he found out that the killer cop who is an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) will be retiring soon.
“He must not be shielded,” he added.
Following the incident, the Endsars hashtag, a movement to end police brutality and extrajudicial killings, once again trended.
An international human rights organisation, Amnesty International, in a post on Twitter “strongly condemned” the killing of Mrs Raheem by the police officer.
“It is horrifying that police officers who are meant to protect lives take it with impunity,” the post reads.
“The Nigeria Police Force’s announcement of an investigation into this tragic incident must lead to justice, and the erring police officers must face prosecution in independent, impartial, public trials.
“Reckless resort of the police to deadly force is a human rights violation. Police brutality must end.”
Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, said the police did not take any lesson away from the #Endsars protests.
“A system of impunity that is used to snuff out Nigerians must be stopped! #WeCantContinueLikeThis,” he tweeted.
Using the hashtag, ‘Oyibo of Abuja’, he said the “mindless” killing of the lawyer was “unacceptable.”
Sir Kess, a BBN reality star, called for justice for the deceased.
“How long will these senseless, unwarranted, unprovoked killings continue? This is so sad!
“Justice for Bolanle Raheem.”
A colleague of the deceased, @OrayeEsq, in his tweets, said the death of Mrs Raheem “means that the Nigerian government learnt nothing and changed nothing after the #EndSARS campaign.*
He urged Nigerians to come out enmasses and end bad governance in the 2023 presidential election.
Kemi Olunloyo, a blogger, called for a transparent investigation into the death of the lawyer.
She said they once met at a pharmacy.
“There must be a detailed transparent investigation into Bolanle’s murder,” she tweeted.
Another Twitter user, Usman Mustapha, prayed that the deceased “rest in peace.”
He added that Mrs Raheem died because she was a Nigerian. He said, “it is sad we need to tweet about this two years after that #Endsars protest.”
In an Instagram post, Toyin ‘Tianna’ Lawani, a popular fashion designer and friend of the deceased, described her as diligent and peaceful.
Ms Lawani said Mrs Raheem, a mother of one, was pregnant, “after waiting for eight years.”
Other Nigerians also called for the dismissal of the boss of the police division.
“Fire the DPO for a start. We can’t continue to deodorize criminals in any form,” one Ayo Oyalowo tweeted.
“If the police station is posting two unnecessary murders in 3 weeks, then the leadership of that station is culpable. Fire that useless DPO now!”
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