The Lagos State Police Command has dismissed Sergeant Collins Idom, for allegedly shooting a 20-year-old undergraduate of a polytechnic in Edo State, Joseph Eidonojie-Ugbeni, to death, PUNCH reports
Idom, who had spent 14 years in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) before his dismissal, was also arraigned before an Ebute Meta Chief Magistrate’s Court for murder along with three suspected cult members.
Joseph was killed by a stray bullet when the SARS officers were chasing a suspected Internet fraudster, identified as Badoo, who had parked his car and fled upon sighting the officers at the Ogoja Market, LASU-Igando Road, Lagos State.
The deceased was said to have gone out with his cousin, who he came to visit, to buy canned drinks when he met his demise.
As soon as the victim died, the SARS officers reportedly put his corpse inside the boot of Badoo’s car and drove off.
Joseph’s cousin, Friday Ojah, said that the SARS officers alleged that the victim was a cult member and he had attempted to shoot at them when they fired back.
The police said that Idom, who was identified by witnesses, confessed to the crime, adding that there was no need for further investigation.
The Chief Magistrate, A.O. Awogboro, ordered his remand in prison pending legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions. She admitted the three suspected cult members to bail in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties in like sum.
Idom’s plea was not taken for the crime and the case was adjourned till November 10, 2016.
Speaking at the burial which took place the same day Idom was arraigned, the deceased’s father, Patrick, called for a quick trial of the dismissed cop, saying only justice would assuage the hurt of the family.
“The Lagos Commissioner of Police gave me N500,000 for the burial of my son and for that, I am grateful. The Officer-in-Charge of SARS also gave us some money. But we need speedy judgement. They should not cover up the case, because that will only increase our hurt,” he said.
According to the family lawyer, Saidi Sanni, the family would demand the payment of N500m as damages from the police.
“We will institute an action at the Federal High Court to enforce the deceased’s rights. We will be suing the Inspector-General of Police for N500m damages. The boy could have grown up to become somebody of repute in the society, so his life is invaluable,” Sanni said.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos said: “As a command, we have respect for human rights. We will not tolerate a situation where a police officer will use his position to torment any member of the public. The Inspector-General of Police has ordered that any policeman involved in extra-judicial killing should face the consequence.”
The victim was laid to rest at the Atan cemetery, Yaba.