…AIG orders arrest, interrogation of killer CSP

Juliana Francis

The Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) has condemned the extrajudicial killing of one of the attackers of the General overseer of Omega Fire Ministry, Apostle Johnson Suleiman, calling for an immediate and impartial investigation into the murder.

The deceased, who was among the gunmen that opened fire on the convoy of Apostle Suleiman at Auchi, Edo State yesterday, was alleged to have been shot to death by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Auchi Police Division, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CPS), Ayodele Suleiman after the gunman was arrested alive by members of a vigilante group and handed over to the police.

The Executive Director of RULAAC, Okechukwu Nwanguma, said: “Reports have it that seven persons including three policemen and four domestic staff of Apostle Johnson Suleiman were killed late Friday near Auchi at the Water Tank Junction along the Warake -Auchi Road on his way to Auchi returning from a foreign mission. The information available to RULAAC indicates that the suspect was apprehended by members of a vigilante group who promptly handed him over to the DPO who extra-judicially executed him. Killing the suspect is unprofessional and raises questions about motive. The action destroys evidence by denying the opportunity to interrogate and hear from him about other fleeing members of the criminal gang, their probable motive, their likely sponsors, and other vital information surrounding the crime.”

The activist further stated: “On taking over the suspect from the vigilante group, the police, without any investigation, extra judicially executed the suspect, denying him the chance – which he is entitled to under the law- to appear in court where his guilt or otherwise would be established following a fair trial.  Could a DPO have unilaterally taken such extrajudicial and reckless action without reference to the Commissioner of Police?  It would be expected that a DPO, upon receiving a suspect in such a serious crime, would notify his CP.  Did the DPO notify his CP? What directives could the DPO have received from the CP to encourage him to carry out such a heinous, illegal, and scandalous act? If it turns out to be the case that CP Edo ordered the unlawful killing of the arrested suspect, the CP would be liable for giving an unlawful order. But even if the officer who shot the suspect convinced him that he was obeying superior orders, he will still be held personally liable because obedience to superior orders is no justification or excuse under the Police Act 2020. Such an order would be manifestly unlawful. A prompt, impartial and exhaustive investigation by an impartial team outside Edo Police Command is warranted.”

Meanwhile, the Edo State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Iwegbu Jennifer on her tweeter handle said that the Outgoing CP, who is now an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Abutu Yaro, has ordered the interrogation of DPO Auchi, CSP Ayodele Suleiman.

Jennifer said: “As part of the measures of the Command concerning the circumstances that led to the death of one of the surviving members of the monstrous gang that attacked the convoy of Apostle Suleiman, the outgoing CP now AIG Abutu Yaro has ordered the withdrawal of CSP Ayodele Suleiman, DPO Auchi for debriefing at the State Headquarters with immediate effect. Meanwhile, members of the Public are urged to remain calm and patient as no stone would be left unturned to unearth the circumstances surrounding it.”


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