The Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) has condemned the alleged extrajudicial killing of one of the attackers of Apostle Johnson Suleman, allegedly by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Auchi, CPS Ayodele Suleman after the suspect was arrested alive by members of a vigilante group and handed over to the police.
Reports have it that seven people, including three policemen and four domestic staff of Apostle Johnson Suleman, were killed late Friday near Auchi at the Water Tank Junction along the Warake-Auchi Road on their way to Auchi returning from a foreign mission.
In a statement signed by its Executive Director, Okechukwu Nwanguma, RULAAC alleged that killing the suspect is unprofessional and raises questions about motive.
The Executive Director of RULAAC, Okechukwu Nwanguma, said that the action destroys evidence by denying the opportunity to interrogate and hear from him about other fleeing members of the criminal gang, their probable motive, their likely sponsors, and other vital information surrounding the crime.
“Killing the suspect is unprofessional and raises questions about motive. The action destroys evidence by denying the opportunity to interrogate and hear from him about other fleeing members of the criminal gang, their probable motive, their likely sponsors, and other vital information surrounding the crime”.
“On taking over the suspect from the vigilante group, the police, without any investigation, extra-judicially executed the suspect, denying him the chance – which he is entitled to under the law- to appear in court where his guilt or otherwise would be established following fair trial”.
“Could a DPO have unilaterally taken such extrajudicial and reckless action without reference to the Commissioner of Police? If a DPO got a suspect in such a serious crime, it would be expected that he would tell his CP. Did the DPO notify his CP?
“What directives could the DPO have received from the CP that emboldened him to carry out such a heinous, illegal, and scandalous act?” he asked.
“If it turns out to be the case that CP Edo ordered the unlawful killing of the arrested suspect, the CP would be liable for giving an unlawful order. But even if the officer who shot the suspect did so convinced that he was obeying superior orders, he will still be held personally liable because obedience to superior orders is no justification or excuse under the Police Act 2020”.
“Such an order would be manifestly unlawful. A prompt, impartial, and exhaustive investigation by an impartial team outside Edo Police Command is warranted” he stated.