Law News
Fuel subsidy riot: Dismissed DPO denies killing protester

Former Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Segun Fabunmi, who was attached to Pen Cinema Division of Lagos State Police Command, yesterday, denied killing one Ademola Daramola and injuring others involved in the mass protest on fuel subsidy, organized by Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, in 2012.

Segun, who was led in evidence by A. O. Eleazu, told a Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere that he was attacked while on security patrol by a mob at Yaya Abatan Junction, Ogba, Agege, on January 9, 2012.

Fuel Subsidy protest

He said: “I was informed that there will be protest on January 9, 2012, in respect of the fuel subsidy. I received a distress call from the control room at Ikeja, asking me as the DPO, to lead a team to Yaya Abatan where hoodlums had barricaded the road, collecting phones from owners, breaking car windscreen and extorting money from innocent people.

“I called my station office to mobilize a team of policemen. When they saw us, the hoodlums became violent, throwing stones and other dangerous weapons.

“I ordered my men to remove the planks and tyres which they used in blocking the road, and I also ordered some people who were held hostage to be released.”

Segun, who was dismissed by the Nigeria Police Force while in detention in 2013, said: “My primary duty was to educate them because they were doing the wrong thing.

“I saw the mob coming towards me, before I knew it, they gripped my rifle and tried to disarm me.

“The next thing I heard was a gun shot from the mob. They started beating me with sticks. While struggling with the mob, the AK 47 I was holding went off, thereby, dispersing them.”

He said at the time of the incident, there was no casualty and that nobody sustained injury, adding that the mob dispersed in different directions.

Segun said he immediately called the control room at Ikeja to report his experience, explaining that “three hours later, I was invited by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police and was told that one person was killed, while many others were seriously injured and I was put in detention.”

The defendant, who is facing an eight-count charge bordering on murder, attempted murder, causing grievous bodily harm, had earlier been arraigned before Justice Olabisi Akinlade.

The state counsel, Akinwumi A., said the defendant committed the crime at about 9a.m. at Yaya Abatan Junction, Ogba, Agege.

She said the defendant, while on security patrol, murdered one Ademola Daramola and also attempted to kill one Alimi Abubakar by shooting him with an AK 47 rifle.

According to her, the crime is punishable under Sections 221, 228,243 of the criminal laws of Lagos State.

He had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge and had since been granted bail.

Justice Akinlade adjourned the matter to November 19 for continuation of trial.

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