15 March 2013 14:16
• Debo Adeniran, CACOL Executive chairman
By Israel Ekene Ohia
A Nigerian civil society group, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), has petitioned southwest Nigeria’s Lagos State Commissioner of Police, over the death in the hands of law enforcement officers, of a commercial motor cyclist trying to evade arrest while being chased.
The group in its petition dated 15th March said; “as a group of civil societies with the objective of fighting corruption and corrupt persons at all levels, we have been keen observers of events unfolding in Lagos State since the implementation of the Lagos Traffic Law. First and foremost, we recognize the need to put measures in place to regulate the activities of motorcycle operators on our roads, and most especially on plying the highways, but the central issue of contention in the implementation of this law is the arbitrariness and the extremes of the Nigeria Policemen even on the non-restricted routes.”
Speaking further in its petition, Debo Adeniran the Executive Chairman of the Group, said; “Since the enforcement of the Traffic Law gathered momentum, many motorcycle operators have witnessed an unprecedented brutality from the men of the Nigeria Police Force, which has led to the death of some motorcycle operators. The recent is the death of an Okada rider, identified as Rahman, who was allegedly chased to his death by some policemen on patrol at Akowonjo Roundabout, Alimosho Local Government, Lagos on Wednesday, 14 March, 2013. The deceased was reported to have been crushed to death by a fast moving vehicle at about 6pm on the said date while trying to evade police arrest.”
“As concerned Nigerians, our Coalition sees the urgent need to put an end to all extra-judicial measures being meted out on these motorcycle operators in Lagos State and curtail the excesses of the men of the Nigeria Police and Lagos Task Force and above all reduce, if not put to an end, the hardship an average motorcyclist faces on Lagos roads since the law was implemented. CACOL hereby demands: That you fish out the culprits within the Lagos state Police Command, who caused the death of Mr. Rahman and bring them to book in no distant time; The immediate withdrawal of the men of the Nigeria Police Force from the non-restricted routes; That you educate your men on the need to follow due process when arresting violators of the Traffic Law,” CACOL said.
“CACOL therefore urges you, to as a matter of urgency, put an end to lawlessness and aberration being perpetrated by your men and save the state from degenerating into anarchy as some motorcycle operators have resolved to taking the laws into their hands by engaging some policemen in reprisal attacks. Above all, we advise you against allowing the Lagos State Government use your men, for the implementation of its numerous anti-people policies,” the petition added.