Nigeria: Police Commissioner Orders Arrest of Officer Who Allegedly Caused Footballer's Death

(file photo).
23 February 2020

The Commissioner of Police in Ogun State has ordered the immediate arrest of an unidentified police officer who allegedly caused the death of Tiamiyu Kazeem, a young football player.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how an angry mob on Saturday stormed a police station in Sagamu, Ogun State, after the incident.

Kazeem played for Ogun State-based Remo Stars Football club.

Videos and pictures of how the mob vented their anger on the officers and destroyed some properties of the police have been trending online.

According to a witness account, which was corroborated by Oladimeji Oshode, the media officer of Remo Stars Football club, the incident occurred Saturday afternoon in Sagamu while Kazeem was driving along Sagamu area of Ogun State with one of his teammates, Sanni Abubakar.

It was gathered that a SARS officer stopped the footballer and accused him of being a Yahoo boy (internet fraudster). The officers insisted on taking him to the nearby police station.

"The SARS officer stopped Tiyamiyu Kazeem, insisting that he was a Yahoo boy. He brought out his identity (ID) card to identify himself as a player of Remo Stars FC, but the officer insisted on taking him to the nearest police station in Sagamu."

Kazeem was allegedly pushed out of the police vehicle before he was hit by an incoming vehicle.

Although the Ogun State police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, denied that the deceased was accused of being an internet fraudster, he confirmed to this paper in a telephone interview that Kazeem was hit by a moving vehicle after the police vehicle developed a technical fault.

Meanwhile, in an official statement sent to this paper on Sunday morning, the commissioner of police, Ogun State police command, ordered the immediate arrest of the officer for his unprofessional act of leaving an arrested person alone in the vehicle .

"A full scale investigation into the case has commenced by state criminal investigation and intelligence department," Mr Oyeyemi stated.

The spokesperson also added that normalcy has been restored as members of the public have been assured of proper investigation of the case.

Police and 'unprofessional conducts'

The officers of the Nigerian Police Force are notorious for extra-judicial killings, bribery and other corrupt practices.

On several occasions, officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the force have been caught on camera assaulting members of the public after refusing to give bribes.

The assaults sometimes result in the death of the victim.

In 2018, the federal government ordered an immediate review of the police unit and its activities. Also, the Inspector General of police, Mohammed Adamu, has repeatedly vowed to arrest, investigate and punish any police personnel involved in misuse of weapons.

Notwithstanding, experts as well as human rights campaigners are calling for the total reformation of the Nigerian Police Force.

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