A human right lawyer, Femi Aina, has frowned at the killing of a fleeing fake kidnapper by the Nigerian Prisons Service at the Ebute Meta Chief Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
The lawyer who also claimed to be an eyewitness, said the prison official who shot the suspect, Chizoba Okoye, never fired any warning shot as claimed by the prison authorities, adding that the victim was shot in the abdomen.
The 24-year-old deceased Okoye, pretended to be one of the kidnappers of the six pupils of Lagos Model College, Igbonla, Epe.
He had allegedly demanded N2m ransom from the parents of the pupils and was arrested in the course of police investigation.
He was subsequently arraigned at the Chief Magistrate Oluwayemisi Adelaja’s court on August 3, 2017, on one count of false representation and demanding ransom.
After his trial on Wednesday, he was alleged to have fled the court premises and was shot dead by a warder.
The spokesperson for the prisons service, Lagos State command, DSP Rotimi Oladokun, in a statement, had said Okoye was shot by personnel of the Armed Squad Unit after he ignored warning shots. He also claimed he died on the way to a hospital.
But Aina, who spoke with newsmen after reading the story as published by media houses , said Okoye was murdered in cold blood, calling on the prison authorities to bring the officer that fired the shot to book.
He said, “I was at the court for a family matter when it all happened. The defendant truly fled the court, but he was shot immediately; only one shot was fired. There was no warning shot at all. He was shot in the abdomen; no serious attempt was made to warn him.
“If they had chased him, there is a possibility that passersby will help to apprehend him. He was making an attempt to scale the fence when he was shot.
“The gun was not aimed at his leg. The prisons authorities lied when they said he was being taken to a hospital when he died. He died instantly. His corpse was covered with a blanket on the court premises.
“The fact that there is room for lawful homicide under the criminal code is not a licence to kill. Every reasonable step should be taken first. Before I left the court, I saw the officer who fired the shot walking with an air of pride. Why are we treating human lives with such levity?”
While calling for a thorough investigation into the killing, Aina urged the deceased’s lawyer to file charges against the prisons authorities.
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )