Makoko Killing: Police Officer Faces Trial At Lagos High Court
Justice may be coming the way of the victims of Makoko killing following the order of Justice I.O. Harrison of the Lagos State High Court for the arraignment and prosecution of a Police officer, Seun Awolu a.k.a Ijaya, over the killing and destruction of properties worth millions of Naira during the attack.
P.M.EXPRESS reports that Justice Harrison gave the order on Thursday following the listing of Awolu for prosecution by the DPP, which found him culpable over the killing of the two residents, Kolawole Iwalokun and Seyi Akintimehin during the attack in 2018.
The then Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgar, had ordered for the arrest and room trial for Awolu but since then the Police had not concluded the room trial as the DPP forwarded his file to the Court for prosecution.
The prosecution Counsel, Barr. H.F Owomoniran, informed the Court that the defendant has been listed before the Court for prosecution but it has been delayed because the Police has not concluded their room to hand him over for prosecution.
Hence the Judge, Justice Harrison gave the order and asked the prosecutor to inform the Police so that Awolu will be brought to Court for arraignment and trial and adjourned till 9th June, 2022.
On 10th May, 2018, Mr. Jide Bakare, the former chairperson of the Lagos State Task Force on land grabbing, mobilised and led a team of armed officers to the Apostolic Church, Ori-Oke Alala Temidire in the Makoko area of Yaba LCDA, to execute an order.
The invasion resulted in injuries, displacement of thousands of residents, destruction of properties worth millions of Naira, and the community church, which was burnt to the ground.
Following the ugly incident, there were series of protests by the Makoko residents, families of the victims and human rights group, The Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights (CHSR), human rights activists led by Comrade Alex Omotehinse to the Police, Lagos State House of Assembly and Government.
In November 2018, the Police operatives at the FCIID, Alagbon, invited the leadership of the church that their petition to the IGP has been approved and assigned to them for investigation and after obtaining the statements of the leaders and inviting the alleged persons, Police personnel at FCIID Alagbon forwarded the case file to the DPP for advice.
To the surprise of the families of the victims, the Police did not communicate the progress of the matter, which led them to write the Attorney-General of Lagos State on the matter.
In their response dated 4th February, 2021 signed by O.A. Alagbe, a State Counsel stated that he was directed to inform them that the legal advice in respect of the matter had been written by their office and information has been dispatch for filling at the high court for the prosecution of the matter.
The DPP’s supplementary legal advice was issued since 3rd September, 2019, where it stated that the office shall prosecute Seun Awolu (aka Ijaya) for the offence of manslaughter.
Since then, the indicted Police officer, Awolu has not been arraigned due to the delay by the Police authority to conclude the room trial hence the order of the Court.