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Socialist Democracy April - May 2003 | Index





Sunday 2nd of March will forever remain a "Black Sunday" for the family of a 22 years old boy and a resident of 13b, Agugu Street, Ajegunle, Master Idris Finikunmo who was shot dead by a policeman at the National Oil filling station, Tin Can Island.

An eye witness, Mr. Mohammed Garuba who works very close to the scene of the incident and who is very much familiar with the leaders of the patrol team, one Mr. Emma and Mustapha both of whom were from Area 'B' police command, Apapa said a group of four armed policemen, all in mufti with one of them, Mr. Mustapha putting on a bullet proof apron with the inscription "POLICE" stormed the National Oil filling station with a commercial bus in search of fuel hawkers.

The late master Idris Finikunmo whose uncle owns a generating plant at Tin Can was sent to buy a 10 litre of fuel when luck ran against him. With the filling station being stampeded by the four-armed policemen, all fuel hawkers and innocent citizens started running helter skelter to seek refuge for their dear lives. The deceased who ran back towards the filling station, on getting to the extreme end of the fence of the station, was shot by the policeman in bulletproof apron. He fell down and died instantly. The killer advanced towards him and took away 10 litre of fuel he has bought.

Later, the father of the boy, Mr. Felix Finikunmo, an unemployed ex-naval officer, arrived at the scene sitting close to the corpse of his late son in his pool of blood shouting "I am the father of the boy".

All efforts of the family of the deceased to demand justice from Area 'B' has proved abortive as the Area Commander (AC) of Area 'B' continues to deny the involvement of his men in the incident. This made the family to petitioned the office of Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Zone II, Onikan. On Friday 7th of March, the AIG office referred the case to the homicide section.

Would the brutal killing of Master Idris Finikunmo be one of those ruthless and unresolved killings of innocent citizens by the police? It would be recalled that sometimes ago on January 27, 2001, a resident of Ajegunle, Mr. Abayomi Oyebola, a 300 Level Business Administration student of University of Benin was shot dead by mobile police officer at the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) Wharf. It was widely reported in the dailies, following the successful protest of angry youth of Ajegunle to NPA and media houses on February 1, 2001. Till date, the killer has not been found and the family has not compensated.

What these killing by police shows is that the police, a state apparatus supposedly saddled with the responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of the citizen is really an agent for brutality, indiscriminate shooting and harassment.

The Ajegunle youth has threatened to go on demonstration if the culprits are not fished out in time.

We demand that:

* the culprit must be brought to book by being arrested, tried and punished in accordance with the law

* the family of the deceased should be compensated

* the rights of the police to form, join and belong to any union of their choice to demand for good working condition, good salaries, etc.

* there police should be placed under the democratic control of the community.





Socialist Democracy April - May 2003 | Index