12-year-old Elizabeth narrated how a trigger-happy police corporal shot her parents — Mr and Mrs Godwin Ekpo — in the head.

According to the girl, they were returning from church in her father’s “keke marwa” (tricycle) when they were stopped by a group of policemen who were carrying out a “stop-and-search” operation. While the father was conversing with the policemen, Mrs Godwin alighted with her 11-month-old baby to join them and perhaps see what was really happening.

After some time, the young girl stated, her parents were seen to be approaching the tricycle where she and her two other siblings (9-year-old Abraham and 7-year-old Mary) were waiting. Suddenly, a bullet pierced through the back of her mother’s head. The woman fell to the ground and died on the spot in a pool of blood. Right before the little ones’ eyes, their father was also hit by a bullet.

Passers-by came to their rescue by taking the baby and then rushing her dad to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) where he is gradually recuperating.

It has also been reported that trouble actually started when the policeman, identified as Corporal Aremu, demanded a N50 bribe from the tricycle operator, and the victim tried to explain that he was only carrying members of his family. This corporal was said to have taken Monkey Tail (a local gin mixed with Indian hemp) before the incident that ended the life of an innocent mother-of-four.

Justice must prevail

Even though it’s in the news that the erring policeman had been dismissed from the Nigeria Police Force and then charged to court for murder, and also that the divisional police officer in charge of Isheri Oshun where the incident happened had been redeployed, there is need for all Nigerians to ensure that the case is not swept under the carpet; that would be gross injustice! These actions are quite commendable but more has to be done. For me, those that were involved should be properly prosecuted so that they can serve as deterrents to others.

In addition to these sanctions, it won’t be out of place if potential policemen (and women) are subjected to serious psychological tests and behavioral grooming during recruitment. These, as well as the introduction of police body cameras, might help reduce the rate at which innocent Nigerians are “fired” by their supposed friends.

One also believes that these reforms could help rid the police of miscreants who have turned the much-dreaded gun into a toy that they can cock at the slightest provocation especially when it involves the collection of a bribe.

Report by Kofoworola Ayodeji. Source: Naij.com

About the Author

CRACO is an NGO that is committed to making the Child included and visible. We ensure that matters relating to children are not swept under the carpet but brought to the attention of the world, so that necessary actions can be taken to address such matters for the best interest of the the children. We keep you regularly informed of news and stories concerning children and women around the world.

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