Shooting Protesters: CSO, NUJ Berate Osun CP Over Alleged Attempt To Cover Errant Behaviours Of Policemen

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Civil Society organisations and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in Osun have berated the State Police Commissioner, Olawale Olokode over attempt to cover shootings by his men on protesters in the state.

Policemen from Dugbe Divisional Headquarters in Osogbo had on May 31, 2022 shot sporadically at some youths protesting against alleged murder of their colleague, Afolabi Abiola by a policeman, at Olaiya flyover during which bullet hit The Nation’s newspaper correspondent, Toba Adedeji.

The Commissioner of Police Olawale Olokode on Rave FM talk show on Friday denied that his men fired bullet at the protest scene, adding that the journalists did not sustain gunshot injury but a mere metal scratch.

However, the civil society organisations under the aegis of The Osun Masterminds, at  press conference in Osogbo, said the state police command as become notorious for needless killings in recent times.

In his address, Dr Wasiu Ali-Oyedokun described attempt by Olokode to cover the act as a subtle support for the errant behaviours of his men.

“We also must mention another vice that we have repeatedly spoken against. The practice of police intimidation, brutality and harassment of innocent citizens, worsened by irresponsible use of firearms, must stop forthwith. The Osun State Police command has become notorious in recent times for needless killings and all manner of actions antithetical to the tenets of true policing.

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“Recently, while covering a protest that erupted as a result of the unjust killing of a young man in Osun State, a journalist was shot in a needless show of force by men of the Nigeria Police Force, Osun State Command. We were further irked by the claims of the State Commissioner of Police, that the it was only a teargas canister that hit the journalist and not a live bullet. We are constrained to say that while the lower echelons continue to act irresponsibly, the upper echelons of the State Command seem to be ever-ready to deny obvious criminality and defend errant officers of its command. This is sad and we condemn it in its entirety”, he said.

Also, the NUJ in a communique after it June Congress issued by the Secretary, Bukola Elufadejin on Friday insisted the policemen fired live bullets during the protest and Toba Adedeji was hit by police stray bullet.

“It alleged that leadership failure of the police hierarchy in the state has warranted indiscipline among the rank and file, hence, urged the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba to supervise the command to check the growing excesses before it snowball into crisis.

“The police hierarchy should supervise Osun Police command with a view to checking its raising crime profile under the watch of the CP. Since his leadership failure has led to continuous rise of indiscipline within the ranks and file. Hence, we demand that the CP be redeployed”, the communique reads.  

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