The family of a member of the Nigerian Legion, Ademola Moshood, who was allegedly murdered by a police inspector, Paul Joseph, have demanded the conviction of the cop.
Ademola was said to be returning from work on his motorcycle on March 29, 2019, when he was stopped at Kilo bus stop, Surulere, by a police team from the Sholoki Police Station.
The policemen allegedly demanded a N200 bribe from the 34-year-old, who was in his uniform.
The victim, who was said to have refused to part with the sum after identifying himself as a member of the Nigerian Legion, was allegedly shot in the head by Joseph.
The police team was arrested after the incident was reported to the Divisonal Police Officer.
The elder brother of the deceased, Akeem Moshood, said only justice would assuage the hurt of the family, adding that the killing was premeditated.
He said, “My brother was on his way back from work and was about three buildings away from his place of residence when he was accosted by a police patrol team. The refusal of my brother to part with N200 was what led to his death; there was no provocation. The inspector just cocked his gun and shot him in the forehead.
“When we got to the police station, the DPO identified the culprits and said he had transferred them to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba.
“We demand that the case should not be swept under the carpet; justice must be served. My brother was married with a kid and his wife is heavily pregnant. We appeal to the state government to come to the aid of his family and ensure that they do not suffer.”
In a petition to the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, the Nigerian Legion, Lagos State Command, lamented the killing of Ademola, who was reportedly attached to the state Ministry of Youth and Sports as a security operative.
The petition, which was signed by the state Chairman, Samuel Akande, and dated April 4, 2019, urged the state to give the group the recognition it deserved.
“We are indeed surprised that a policeman, who should protect lives, was so intoxicated by the gun in his possession to the extent of shooting a law-abiding citizen returning home from work. More so, the deceased was in the uniform of the Nigerian Legion, an offshoot of the Armed Forces established by the Federal Government Decree 37 of 1988, when he was shot.
“The killing of Ademola Moshood for whatever reason by Inspector Paul Joseph is unacceptable, unlawful, oppressive and an abuse and misuse of authority. He was not a thief, hoodlum or a commercial motorcyclist. He was lawfully engaged and contributed his part as assigned in the provision of security for the state.
“We appeal to you sir to use your good offices to help the Nigerian Legion and the family of late Ademola Moshood get justice for the unlawful killing, harassment, molestation and humiliation. We also appeal that our members and corps of commissionaires should be recognised and accorded the respect they deserve as members of the Nigerian Legion. Police officers in Lagos State should be educated and enlightened on the Nigerian Legion.”
The 52-year-old inspector was arraigned before an Ebute-Meta Magistrates’ Court on one count of murder.
The charge read, “That you, Paul Joseph, on March 28, 2019, around 1am, at the Kilo area of Surulere, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did kill one Ademola Moshood, by shooting him in the head with a Takorav rifle, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 222 and punishable under Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.”
The presiding magistrate, Mr O. A. Komolafe, ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison pending the release of legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
The case was adjourned till May 8, 2019.