Family of one late Francis Idum, who was shot dead by an officer of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, in Lagos, has called on the Lagos state government, the National Assembly and the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to intervene over the unlawful killing of their son.
The family, in a statement addressed to the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and the IGP Mohammed Adamu, demanded justice for the killing of Idum.
Late Francis Idum, 39, who was set to marry in few weeks time, was killed on Monday, July 15 at Ajisegiri Street, Ilupeju area of Lagos by a SARS officer (names withheld) from the Ladipo Division, during raids on some hoodlums in the street.
Francis, a janitor, was on his way to clean the premises of one of his clients at about 8:15 am when the unfortunate incident occurred.
However, a statement by the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer Bale Elkana denied Francis was killed by a SARS man, saying that he (Francis) was shot dead during a clash by two rival cult groups in the area.
Efforts by the family to get justice over the incident has since proved abortive as police authorities are said to have continued to frustrate the attempts, allegedly making illicit demands for money. His body has since then been deposited at a state mortuary (in a container) for mass burial.
In a procession led by rights activist and president, Paths of Peace Initiative, Mr Dandy Eze, the family appealed to government authorities to intervene, while demanding the Police to allow them retrieve Francis’ body from the morgue, a process which the family described as being frustrating and exhausting.
The family and friends, who carried different placards such as “We demand justice for the unlawfully killing of Francis by SARS”, “Buhari please save us from SARS killings,” Lagos Assembly please investigate Francis death”, expressed disappointment in SARS, describing the operatives as careless and uncouth.
“We are appealing to the Inspector General of Police, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representative, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Speaker, Lagos House of Assembly to intervene in this matter and get justice for our family,” they stated.
“All our efforts to get justice with petitions written to police authorities such as Lagos Commissioner of Police, AIG Zone Area F Command, Ikeja are to no avail as nothing has so far been done.
“And with this, we are beginning to raise questions if police’ constitutional functions is now to keep silence over a poor citizen that was unlawfully killed by one of its officers.”
A member of the family, Mr Olukayode Omotosho, who spoke to our Correspondent, said “we demand the release of Francis’ corpse which has been dumped with other bodies for mass burial. They should allow us to have his body for befitting burial. We are tired of the high demands for money and tossing us here and there by officials of the mortuary and the police.
“The police demand we do autopsy and we had paid part of the 40,000 naira requested for the test. We are being stretched beyond limit on an incident caused by the police operatives. This is unfair, yet they claim his death was as a result of clashes between two rival cultist groups, which is untrue. And for the records, on that very day, there was no incident of fight between any cultist group. We want justice for the death of our dear son by SARS men,” he declared