The policemen, who were arrested in connection with the lynching of two youths (Ifechukwu �Nwainokpor, a final year student of Delta State University, and his friend, Kazeem Onayemi, an apprentice)by an angry mob on suspicion of armed robbery.in Ajara, Badagry area of Lagos State, �have denied participating in the killing.
The six policemen, who were arrested after they were spotted in the video of the sad event, are currently detained at the Lagos State Command Headquarters.It was learnt that they were being held because they �folded their arms” and watched the two young men being killed, instead of saving them.
The Divisional Police Officer, Mohammed Dankoli, was also transferred from the station after the Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, accused him of unprofessional conduct.
Police sources told PUNCH Metro on Thursday that the policemen were insisting that they did not rescue the victims because they were ordered not to shoot. They reportedly said they could not have dispersed the angry mob without using lethal force.
One of the policemen, investigating the arrested officer’s conduct, said,
�The policemen were not involved in the lynching. We have taken their statements and I can assure you that they were not happy with the lynching of those boys.
�The policemen said on the day of the incident, July 21, 2013, they were led to the scene by the incident officer, ASP Matthew. It was Matthew that told them not to shoot. That was why they did not shoot to disperse the crowd.
�If you watch the video carefully, you will observe that the station officer, Inspector Adefemi Ashogbon, was trying to disperse the crowd but because he was not authorised to shoot, there was little he could do. Even Sergeant John Sonayon, who was also in the video, did not participate in the killing.”
When asked if the victims were armed robbers, the policemen said,
�We don’t know if those boys were robbers, but the vigilance group in the area accused them of killing someone.”
It was learnt that the policemen had sent emissaries to commiserate with the families of the deceased persons and also to plead with the Commissioner of Police in the state, Umaru Manko, to have mercy on them.
A policeman said,
�ASP Matthew has been a policeman for 35 years and is due to retire this year. Ashogbon has been a policeman for over 20 years and has a family to look after. We appeal to CP Manko to please temper justice with mercy.”
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