A police officer in Lagos has been sentenced to death by hanging for the murder of lawyer Mrs Omobolanle Raheem. The quick delivery of justice in the case has been praised, as it highlights the issue of police killings in Nigeria.
The delivery of justice in the extrajudicial murder case of Lagos lawyer Mrs Omobolanle Raheem has brought a sense of relief to her family, friends, associates, and the Nigerian public. The swift trial of police officer Drambi Vandi, who was sentenced to death by hanging for the fatal shooting of Mrs Raheem, has demonstrated that the law can be applied efficiently and effectively.
The murder of Mrs Raheem on Christmas Day, 2022, shocked and saddened Nigerians, highlighting the issue of police brutality and the disregard for human life. The incident drew parallels with the ENDSARS protests, where Nigerian youths called for an end to the atrocities committed by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Amnesty International and numerous women organizations joined the chorus of condemnation, demanding justice for Mrs Raheem.
Unfortunately, Mrs Raheem’s case is not an isolated incident. Reports indicate that as many as 91 other Nigerians have been killed by police officers in the past year alone. These extrajudicial killings undermine public trust in the police force and make it difficult for the populace to view the police as their allies in ensuring safety and security.
While the swift prosecution of ASP Vandi is commendable, it is crucial for the police force to take proactive measures to prevent such incidents from occurring in the first place. This includes rigorous training and retraining of field personnel and identifying and removing individuals with violent tendencies from the force. Building a positive relationship with the civil populace is vital for gathering intelligence and solving crimes effectively.
The conviction of two pipeline vandals for the murder of seven operatives of the Department State Services (DSS) further highlights the importance of timely justice. However, the eight-year delay in this case serves as a reminder that the Nigerian judiciary must strive for consistency and efficiency in all criminal proceedings.
As Nigerians seek justice for the victims of extrajudicial killings, it is crucial for the police and the judiciary to demonstrate the same commitment shown in the Raheem case. The families of Gafaru Buraimo and the other 90 victims deserve closure and the assurance that justice has been served.
In conclusion, the swift delivery of justice in the Raheem case is a positive development, but it is just the beginning. Addressing the issue of police brutality and ensuring justice for all victims requires ongoing efforts and a commitment to upholding the rule of law..