For a while now Nigerians, especially the youth have lived in constant fear of not just criminals, but of the security forces, particularly the police and SARS that swore to protect them. There have been continuous harassment, intimidation, extortion and outright murder perpetrated by these men of the force on Nigerians. Young people are unable to walk freely for fear of false accusations or harassment by the police who now identify every good looking young Nigerian as a fraudster.
The unfortunate thing about the problem with the Nigerian police is the swift rise from harassment and extortion to rampant extrajudicial killings and the conspicuous numbness of the government. Even when the killer cops are arrested, no one hears anything about the case beyond that point, as it somehow dies down or fades away. The citizens have organised marches and peaceful protests both offline and online with the popular #EndSars trend. However, it seems like everything falls on deaf ears and the killings and harassment continue.
While the struggle continues we remember those who have lost their lives to police brutality and murder and hope that someone listens.
Tina Ezekwe was hit by a bullet on Tuesday 26th May at about 10:45 p.m when a reportedly drunk police officer shot to disperse a crowd that had gathered after he opened fire on a bus driver who refused to give him a bribe. Ezekwe was then rushed to the hospital where she received first aid and eventually passed on two days later.
On May 28, 2019, 28 year-old muslim cleric, Fatai Oladipupo was shot and killed by Okoro Charles, a police officer, along Obabiyi, Igando road, Ikotun. The officer was arrested, but nothing is known of the case today.
Seyi Makinde, an undergraduate at the Federal University of Agriculture, Akure was not killed by a bullet but committed suicide following his unfortunate ordeal with SARS which plunged him into debt and depression. Seyi who was also a Forex trader was arrested along with 16 others and take away from their rooms. They were assaulted, tortured and extorted by their captors. After the ordeal Seyi’s life was put in turmoil, unable to continue his education, and in a $20,000 debt. Before his suicide, he went on twitter to narrate his ordeal and that was the last time he was ever heard from.
Chima Ikwunado, a mechanic was arrested, detained, extorted and tortured to death by men of the Nigerian Police Force in Rivers State. Chima was initially arrested along with his his apprentices, Victor Ogbonna, Osaze Friday, Ifeanyi Osuji and Ifeanyi Onyekwere for driving against traffic and tortured at Mile 1 Police Station by SP Benson Adetuyi. The policemen took N93,000 found on Chima and remanded him on allegations of car theft. In detention, they were all tortured in the most brutal manner in spite a confirmation by owner of the vehicle that the car had not been stolen. The police in a bid to cover up Chima’s killing as a result of torture, declared him to be ‘at large’. As at time of death, Chima had a five-month pregnant wife.
On December 26, 2019, an unarmed Babatunde Ramon was shot dead after a heated argument outside the premises of the Eko Atlantic Energy City at Victoria Island. Video clips of the deceased after being shot dead by a policeman surfaced and went viral online.
On April 23, 2019, Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State was thrown into a frenzy over the murder 27-year-old Augustine Ugwu, a 500 level law student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka by an officer of the Nigerian Police Force. Augustine was said to have gone to a beer parlour at with his friend where he was trailed by a local security outfit constituted by the chairman of the local government area, Patrick Omeje. They had just arrived the beer parlour and ordered for a drink when members of the local security outfit (Civilian Anti-cult), arrested him and after beating him, handed him over to the officer in charge of Anti-cult in Nsukka, Ferdinand Nnamdi Ochi, who allegedly murdered him.
Kazeem Tiyamiyu (Kaka)
21 year footballer and captain of Remo Stars was killed by a hit and run while being detained by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) force. The police initially claimed he humped out of the car, but this claim was debunked by the deceased’s fellow player, Sanni Abubakar who was also being detained. Sanni claimed that kaka was pushed out of the car by the SARS officers. This sparked protests in Sagamu, Ogun sate with calls for the disbandment of SARS completely.
On Sunday March 31, 2019, Kolade Johnson, a 36 year old father was shot by officers with Nigeria’s anti-cultism police unit during a raid in Lagos. kolade along with a friend were leaving a football viewing center in the area when a stray bullet hit and killed. He eventually died at the hospital while waiting for treatment.
On June 4 2019, a twitter user tweeted a story about the killing of Christian Onuoha in Abia state by a trigger happy cop by the name of Collins Apkugo, The incident happened after the deceased ran into the police officer late in the night and asked him to dim his light. The police officer took offence and shot Christian in his arm and chest.
Hassan Abudullahi Alfa was on October 26, 2013, arrested and tortured by te Nigerian police after which he developed health issues and would eventually die five days later in a hospital.
On December 11, 2019, 30-years-old fruit seller, Kasarachi Moses was killed by a bullet fromthe men of SARS, who were on a raid at the Apumiri Market area of Umuofeke Mgbarakuma, Ubakala in the Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia State. Eye witnessed stated that the SARS operatives were in the vicinity to make an illegal arrest when they fired the bullet that ended the life Kasarachi Moses.