By Evelyn Usman
Officer in-charge of the Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad, FSARS Lagos State Command, CSP Peter Gana, today, paid a visit to the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA in Oshodi area of Lagos, to condole with the agency over the killing of one of its personnel, last week, by a FSARS operative.
SARS operatives in conference
Recall that the deceased LASTMA official, Adeyemi Rotimi , reportedly stopped the FSARS operative, Inspector Olukunke Olunade, for driving against traffic.
In the ensuing altercation, Inspector Olunade , who drove in a Toyota Highlander SUV with registration number LSR 277 BJ, shot the official, killing him on the spot.
A mob descended on the FSARS operative who was in mufti, resulting in his death before he could be rushed to the hospital.
He had since been tried posthumously in Orderly room and had been dismissed from the Force.
The FSARS boss who condemned the act, told LASTMA Chairman, Mr Chris Olakpe and its General Manager, Mr. Olawale Musa, that the act contradicted the new phase of the FSARS, adding also that operatives had been undergoing lecture on the use of force and firearms in the last six weeks.
Describing the deceased Inspector as one of the cool headed operatives, Gana, wondered why he would be embroiled in such act.
Addressing the Chairman and Managing Director respectively, Gana said ” we are here to commiserate with you. None of us was there and as such, we don’t know exactly what went wrong. Only God knew what happened as He alone gives and takes life.
“We are not like that. Infact we have embarked on an enlightenment on the use of force and situations permissible to use reasonable forces as recognised by the law. Life is sacred and no one is permitted to snuff it out of anyone.
“I also monitor the officers whenever they are sent on errand and I also ensure they do not go home with any ammunition. Anyone who goes home with firearm spends 30 days in the cell.
“For now, we are putting on police uniforms whenever we go on operation and that will be the status quo until we have a new uniform. This is to avoid situations whereby some persons go about impersonating FSARS operatives,” he said.
Responding, Olakpe and Musa, commended the FSARS boss for taking such initiative of visiting LASTMA, describing the act an “unpoliceman like”.
Olakpe, who also commended the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Imohimi Edgal, for his decision on the posthumous orderly room trial and subsequent dismissal of the late Inspector, said such would serve as deterrent to others.
Noting that last week’s incident was not the first time such attack on LASTMA officials y policemen would occur, the Chairman , therefore, called on the need for periodical training of operatives, especially the Rank and File.
He also urged the OC SARS to follow up on the inquest on the deceased LASTMA official, in order for the corpse to be released to his family for burial.
On his part, the General Manager said : “We believe we are family and as such, this should not be happening between us. I encourage the Police to help LASTMA in doing the job of controlling traffic and not to work against each other”.
Earlier plan by the FSARS boss to visit family of the deceased official was shelved for another day.