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Police Officer Accused Of Murder Fails To Appear In Court

A police officer, Saka Afolabi, who allegedly shot one Ismail Akapo in 2019, has failed to show up in court for trial.

The accused was attached to the Lagos State police command at the time of the alleged offence. He was subsequently transferred to the Zamfara police command after the incident, a lawyer, Bisi Adepoju, stated in a letter he sent to the Inspector-General of Police on 4 April.


According to the letter, a copy of which was sent to PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Akapo was shot and killed by a “drunk police officer” in Badagry in 2019.

“I was informed that on the 12th day of July 2019, a drunk police officer, with the name Afolabi Saka, shot and killed a young man named Ismail Akapo in Badagry, Lagos State,” the letter reads.

“Many eyewitnesses confirmed seeing the rogue officer exiting the Charly-Menz Hotel in Aradagun, reeking of alcohol, shortly before the shooting incident.

“I was informed that while the deceased was on his way to the town’s main market, he saw a crowd of people with some police officers having a heated discussion over a piece of land.

“The late Ismail Akapo stood at a safe distance with some friends to watch what was going on. All of a sudden, shots were fired and one of the bullets hit him in his thigh. He fell to the ground.

“The shooter was one of a group of police officers who had been in their town for months, before this particular shooting incident. They were deployed from the Nigeria Police, Zone 2 Command, Obalende, Lagos.”

The lawyer said that the officer involved in the shooting was arrested and taken to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Yaba but was later “released before the legal advice from the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution came out and he was thereafter transferred to the Zamfara police command.”

Mr Adepoju said all efforts to arraign Mr Afolabi in court have so far been unsuccessful as several letters written to the police authorities were all ignored.

He said that it is “shocking” that the officer was transferred without facing any consequences. He also said that there was no evidence that any form of orderly trial took place.

“The Ismail Akapo’s case exposes a corrupt police organization whose job of protecting and enforcing the law of the land, broke every known law in the statute book in protecting one of their own.

“They probably think they are more human than the rest of us. Section 17(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice (Repeal and Re-enactment) Law of Lagos State, 2015, provides that: “Where a person is taken into custody and it appears to the police officer in charge of the station that the offence is of a capital nature, the person arrested shall be retained in custody.” The police officer shall bring the person arrested before a court having jurisdiction with respect to the offence within a reasonable time.”

The lawyer said the state government on 20 August, 2020 issued its legal advice on the matter directing that the officer be prosecuted. However, it was difficult to arraign the suspect before the court accordingly, because he was not in detention.

“On April 15th, 2021, the case finally came before Justice Adesanya of Court 11, Lagos State High Court, Tafa Balewa Square, Onikan, Lagos for the first time, but the defendant was not in custody,” the letter reads.

“Since then, the case has come up five times in the whole of 2022, and on each occasion, the complainant, the Lagos State Government, could not produce the killer police officer.

“On November 8th 2022, the judge became fed up with the complainant and threatened to strike out the matter for lack of diligent prosecution, if not for the severity of the offence.”

The lawyer said that he spoke to the spokesperson of the police in Lagos, Benjamin Hundeyin, but he was “unable to render any assistance.”

“The petition was written to the IGP, so, it is at the domain of the Force Headquarters, so I won’t be able to talk about the case that my superiors are handling,” Mr Hundeyin responded when this newspaper contacted him on the matter on Saturday.

He said that “I can’t talk about it yet until the IG takes a decision on the matter.”

Contacted, the Nigeria police spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, said, “I’m not aware of the letter, when we resume we are going to find out.”

He asked this reporter to forward the letter to him on WhatsApp which has been done.

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