CAPPA demands immediate prosecution of Onyeka’s killers, police reforms implementation

By Edu Abade

The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has called for the prosecution of one Inspector Obi Ebri and other policemen attached to Area Command, Asaba on illegal patrol who allegedly shot and killed 31-year-old Ibe Emmanuel Onyeka, a phone seller in Delta State.

Onyeka was said to be in the company of his pregnant wife, who he married just three months ago, when he was shot point-blank in the head for failing to give the police officers a bribe of N100 and was subsequently rushed to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba, where he was confirmed dead.
The incident was said to have occurred around the Ugbolu area in Asaba, the Delta State capital resulting in a protest march by youths from Ogbogonogo Market who took the corpse from the FMC to the Police headquarters, demanding justice.

The state Commissioner of Police (CP), Ari Mohammed Ali, who confirmed the development, said the killer inspector has been arrested alongside other members of the team.

But in a statement issued by CAPPA Director of Programmes, Philip Jakpor in Lagos, the group described Onyeka’s murder as one extrajudicial killing too many, noting that the same pattern of police brutality and extrajudicial murders that led to the #EndSARS nationwide protests still remain rife across the country, as officers of the Nigeria Police continue to murder innocent civilians unchecked.

“We find it very disturbing that these barbaric acts continue despite the outcry of Nigerians. Another promising young Nigerian has been gunned down barely four months after the killing of a lawyer, Bolanle Raheem, by police in Ajah area of Lagos,” the CAPPA statement reads.

It further reads: “We are alarmed that our security agencies which have remained largely docile in the face of bandits across the country come out in full force against those they have sworn to protect. It is shameful and totally reprehensible.

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“This sad and shameful incident reopens old wounds, and we use this opportunity to demand the prosecution of the identified officers and compensation for the family of the slain businessman. Unfortunately, that can never be adequate justice, as nothing can replace the life that has been gruesomely cut short.

“However, let that be a token of justice. We also re-echo our demand for a total overhaul of the police structure which currently views innocent citizens as prey rather than partners in tackling insecurity in the country.

The statement urged the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, to immediately implement the recommendations of the judicial panel of inquiry that probed the #EndSARS protests as a means of ending extrajudicial killings by police officers in the country.

It recalled that one of the recommendations after the EndSARS protest was the need to subject police officers, especially those handling firearms, to psychological and psychiatric evaluation to ensure that they are mentally capable of discharging their statutory duties effectively.

Another is the proposal that electronic surveillance equipment like close circuit cameras, dashboard cameras and body-worn cameras be deployed to keep policemen under constant monitoring to end the seemingly intractable investigation of extra-judicial killings.

“Only the implementation of these recommendations to the letter will put a check to the incessant killings perpetrated by policemen in homes and on our roads. It was Bolanle Raheem yesterday and Emmanuel Onyeka today. Who knows whose turn it will be tomorrow? Now is the time for the government to stop sloganeering and take concrete actions,” the statement added.

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