Police Trying To Hush Up Student’s Shooting – Lawyer

A lawyer, Mr. Kolawole Olaniregun, has accused the Lagos State Police Command and the management of Michael Otedola College of Primary Education, Epe, of trying to cover up the shooting of a student, Jamiu Babalola, in the school.

babalola_9768765The lawyer, who represents Babalola, said he was surprised that instead of naming the policeman responsible for the shooting and prosecuting him, the police had been trying to hush up the act.

Babalola, a 200 level student of the institution, was shot on Monday during a protest at the college.

Olaniregun said, “I have spoken with the DPO of Epe Division of the Nigeria Police, but he has not been forthcoming about the identity of the policeman responsible. He had only told me that investigation is going on.”

“The students were appealing to the college to allow those who had made half-payment to write the first semester examination,” reported Olaniregun.

He said, “The school authority said they would refuse the students entry into the examination halls unless they paid in full. The students protested, and the school authorities invited the police to quell the protest.

“Policemen were deployed in the scene of the protest. A yet-to-be-identified policeman, shot at the student. The bullet hit Jamiu on the leg. He is currently in a critical condition at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital.”

Babalola, 20, who spoke with the correspondent in a private telephone conversation on Thursday on the hospital bed, said he was unhappy that the management denied that the incident happened.

He said, “The bullet pierced through my left thigh and passed into my right thigh. Though I have been attended to medically, there are still fragments of bullet in my legs.

“I am not happy that the management of Michael Otedola College of Primary Education denied that the incident happened.”

The spokesman for the state police command, Ngozi Braide, said, “From preliminary findings, we are not sure whether the shot was fired by the police or the students. But the police have visited the wounded student in the hospital, and he said he didn’t know who shot him.

“Meanwhile, we have arrested all the policemen on duty on that day; they are in detention. Their rifles have been collected and submitted for ballistic examination. We are not protecting anybody. If any policeman is found culpable, he will face the music.”

1 Comment

  • The Constittution of Nigeria guarantees freedom of expression and association. There is nothing criminal in students embarking on protest or demostration to air their grievance. What is criminal is for any DPO or Police Commissioner to dispatch armed policemen to disperse such protest through gun barrels. That is unacceptable. Would the DPO send armed policemen to quell the protest if his son or daughter was a student of the school, knowing that he or she would be in harms way. Even if the protest had degenerated to a riot, that is not a justification for shooting at defnseless students. Even the colonial police had more regard for human lives. The time has come for the police to employ the use of rubber bullets, water cannons, teazers and such other less lethal weapons to in the control of riotuous crowds. Finally, l urge the state government to set up a commission of enquiry to unmask those behind the shooting of Mr. Babalola, and charge all those found culpable, including those engaged in the subterfuge of cover up, for causing grievious bodily harm, attempted murder and acessory after the fact of attempted murder.

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