By Obinna Amaobi
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has condemned the killing of Bolanle Raheem, a Lagos lawyer, by a police officer.
The incident happened on Sunday in the Ajah area of Lagos when the deceased and her family were returning from Christmas service.
Officers attached to Ajiwe police station in Ajah had ordered the car conveying the family to stop and one of the officers allegedly shot at the car.
In a statement on Tuesday, Tony Ojukwu, executive secretary of the NHRC, described the incident as “regrettable”, adding that the officer had fallen short of standard operating procedure and professional ethics of the Nigeria Police Force.
“The hierarchy of the Nigerian Police as a matter of necessity should always ensure that officers who bear arms must, by all means, be mentally balanced,” the statement reads.
“Also, they must respect the rules of engagement of the police force. Enough is enough of these avoidable deaths.”
Ojukwu said the commission had gone around the country to train police officers on human rights best practices and how to mainstream human rights in law enforcement operations.
“Yet, we are still recording sad incidents of extra-judicial killings perpetrated by the police officers,” he said.
Ojukwu commended the police for immediately taking action to arrest the erring officer and said the commission would continue to monitor the process of investigation and prosecution to ensure that justice was adequately served.
“There must be a permanent solution to check these forms of avoidable killings by the police,” he said.
“It is unfortunate to know that the commission has recorded several incidents of extra-judicial killings by the police.
“The commission will do all that is within its powers to ensure that these cases are not swept under the carpet.”