The case against some operatives of the Nigeria Police Force attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) who were indicted in the killing of some suspected phone thieves in Lagos State has been dismissed.
The dismissal of the case against the SARS operatives who killed the disarmed suspects in Lagos is understood to have followed advice by the Lagos Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).
It will be recalled that Naija News in August 2019, reported the moment operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) shot dead two suspected phone thieves.
According to the report, the SARS officers killed the two suspected phone thieves in Igando area of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial city.
The police officers were later identified as Insp. Fabiyi Omomayara, Sgt. Olaniyi Solomon, Sgt. Solomon Sunday and Cpl. Aliyu Mukaila.
However, the DPP, in a legal advice dated September 16, 2019, with reference number CB:3514/LSXD4/Vol.6/31, which was signed by Dr. Babajide Martins on behalf of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem said the victims were hit by police bullets and were taken to the Iba Police Station, where they died of gunshot injuries.
The advice noted that the policemen had no case to answer as they acted in self-defence.
The advice read in part, “After carefully considering the facts in the duplicate case file, this office is of the opinion that there are insufficient facts to establish a prima facie case of murder or involuntary manslaughter, contrary to sections 222, 223 or 224 (b) and punishable under Section 229 of the Criminal Law, Cap. C17, Vol. 3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015, against pages B1 (Inspector Fabiyi Omomoyowa), B2 (Sergeant Olaniyi Solomon), B3 (Sergeant Solomon Sunday) and B4 (Corporal Aliyu Mukaila); so, they have no case to answer.
“Facts contained in the case file reveal that page A4 (Anagwu Valentine) was robbed of a Max iPhone and the sum of N200,000 by four armed men on August 16, 2019, on Ipaye Street, Iba town, Lagos. Valentine and Ifeanyi Michael reported the robbery to the police at the Iba Police Station, which led to surveillance by the police patrol team comprising Omomoyowa, Solomon, Sunday and Mukaila.
“Valentine and Michael pretended to sell another phone to the gang of armed robbers on August 19 on Ipaye Street, Iba, Lagos; the policemen shot the two suspects and took them to the station, where they eventually died and taken to the morgue.
“In the light of the foregoing, this office is of the considered opinion that Omomoyowa, Solomon, Sunday and Mukaila have no case to answer.”
However, the families of the victims have accused the DPP of attempting to shield the accused officers from prosecution, saying the killer cops are now roaming freely and boasting that they were untouchable.
Addressing reporters on Tuesday, the counsel to the families, Barr. Adesina Ogunlana said, “The truly disturbing legal advice on issue like is, in our humble view, a complete disregard of the onerous responsibilities of the office of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice under which the Directorate of Public Prosecutors operates, to see to due protection and promotion of the rights of all souls in the jurisdiction of Lagos State.
He added: “Can the office of the DPP claim ignorance of the widely disseminated reports of the dismissal of the four defendants from the Nigeria Police after an orderly room trial for their misconduct of executing Segun Solaja and Ogheneovo Ebobo extra-judicially after the defendants were found complicit of the crime of murder and consequently charged to court?
“Where the office of the DPP is aware of the facts above, why does it fail to interrogate the facts therein, juxtapose same with the ‘facts’ contained in the case file on this matter sent to her by the same police to avoid any chance of obtrusiveness?”