The Nigeria Police have threatened to use firearms to defend themselves after an angry mob, reportedly irated by the killing of a youth by the police, lynched police sergeant, Collins Esiabor on Wednesday at the Ogba area of Lagos.
This was disclosed in a statement by the police spokesman Chike Oti, which said the officer, with service number 260326, was performing his duty when he was lynched by the mob who vandalised their patrol vehicle stationed at College Road, Ifako Ijaiye, Ogba, Lagos.
The Police warned that officers “may be forced to use their firearms to defend themselves and other people from being killed by a mob and in the protection of government assets.”
The statement said, “Preliminary investigation into the incident revealed that the mob, mainly youths had earlier that morning gone to Area ‘G’ Command, Ogba with the intention to overrun the police formation and commit arson but found it impregnable.
“However, the Area Commander in-charge, spoke to them, promising to cause an investigation into their grievances as touching the death of a youth.”
The police authorities in the state are unaware of any encounter with the deceased as no formal complaint was received to that effect, the police stated in the release.
It added, “The police were able to arrest five people in connection with this incident and they have been transferred to the Homicide section at the State Criminal Investigation And Intelligence Department (SCIID) and would be thereafter charged for murder at the conclusion of investigation,” Mr Oti continued.
“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Edgal Imohimi, notes that policemen in the state had on several occasions shown restraints in the face of provocative actions.
“The deceased officer and indeed the entire patrol team had the option of defending themselves with their firearms against the mob but chose to show restraint in face of provocation but unfortunately the rampaging mob never allowed them that option hence Sgt. Collins paid the supreme price.”
“He therefore warns that policemen may be forced to use their firearms to defend themselves and other people from being killed by a mob and in the protection of government assets.”