Col. Samuel Akande,(Retd.), the chairman of the Nigerian Legion, Lagos state chapter has called on the Police authorities to educate their men and officers on the need to build proper synergy with other sister security agencies and to stop the brutality, harassment and  intimidation  against men of the Nigerian Legion.

The chairman on Friday spoke in a press conference at his office in Lagos against the backdrop of last Friday’s shooting at an estate in Lekki Penusulla, one Supol Abayomi, attached to the Ogombo Division shot one of the men of the Nigerian Legion called Kola Oshola. The Chairman of the Nigerian Legion, maintained that the Police brutality against his men had become excessive and must be checked.

According to reports, there have been incidents of harassments, intimidations and even shooting and stabbing of men of the Nigerian Legion by the police. The recent shooting of one Kola Oshola on Friday at the Scheme 2 Estate, located at Lekki Peninsula by one Supol Abayomi is the most recent of such unprovoked attacks.

According to Akande, “We are going to formerly write to the Commissioner of Police and copy the governor of Lagos state, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu because the embarrassment is becoming unbearable, we are all working for the government; the police, the Civil Defence, the Legion and other sister security agencies, why should the police harass and intimidate our men every now and then?

“Somebody did not commit a crime and you say, I will shoot, and you shot,  that is not right. Even, you don’t shoot a criminal except your life is in danger. It’s very unfortunate that we have a society where people carry firearms everywhere. These days, people do not value lives anymore, only money. Every practice in this world is towards God and humanity and we must be careful.

“We are going to meet with the Commissioner of Police, Lagos state on this matter and if we are not satisfied, we will go to the IG,” .

Mr Kola Oshola, personnel of Nigerian Legion, victim of police brutality. One Capt. Dickson of the Nigerian Legion, stated that  it appears men of the Nigeria police take delight in humiliating and intimidating officers from other sister security agencies particularly personnel of the Nigerian Legion.

Narrating the ordeal of the men of the Nigerian Legion in the hands of the police, Mr Dickson said that “before this particular shooting incident at Okumbo, there was another incident where a mobile police man striped one of our men of his uniform in public, claiming that the uniform belongs to the Mobile Police.

We have been intimidated. But why we have decided to cry out now is the recent shooting of one of our men at Lekki Peninsula last Friday for no reason”.

He also narrated incident,  “Last week Friday, our men were working at the Scheme 2 Estate in Lekki Peninsula. That Estate has their own motorcycle operators popularly known as Okada within the estate. What the police usually do is to enter the estate to seize one or two okadas whenever they do not see other okada operators outside and compel them to pay money before they release it to the owners.

“Now, the okada operators lodged a complaint to the chairman of the estate about this nefarious activities of the police around there. The chairman of the estate then held a meeting with our men where he instructed that they should not allow the police to enter the estate again to arrest okada and  whenever the police comes to arrest any okada man, ‘give them my number to call me first and if they are coming to arrest legally, they will be allowed to come in but if it’s to extort money from okada, do not allow them again’.

“We are aware that the government of Lagos state placed a ban on okada on the highways but not within estates.

“On that fateful day, the police came in their numbers as usual to arrest okadas but our men who were on duty resisted them, insisting that there was an instruction from the estate chairman that they should not enter to arrest any okada without calling him.

“One of our men asked them to call the chairman’s phone number as instructed but the police said, you bloody civilian, who are you to instruct us. In the process, they started dragging with our man in an attempt to take him away.

“At this point, the supervisor  came out to ask why they wanted to take the boy away and they said because he did not allow them to enter the estate and he said that the boy was only carrying out instruction from the estate chairman. The police then threatened to shoot the supervisor for taking side with his boy and before you know it, he threatened and shot the supervisor on the thigh. Thank God, he did not die though still battling for his life at the hospital now.

“Information gathered from the hospital indicates that he lost a lot of blood and had some fracture. This is the reason we decided to cry out loud to the world today. Our crying out is not just because of this latest incident, the brutality and intimidation of the police against the Nigerian Legion is getting too much, we don’t know  the next victim.

“They have taken our rights away from us. I work in Alausa, each time I’m going to work in my uniform and on my bike, they will stop me, pull me down and take my bike even after introducing myself as a legion personnel, I was charged to collect my bike,  between N30,000 to N40,000.

We want the government to intervene before they deplete us. Our men are now scared to wear their uniforms while going to work.”

Personnel of the Nigerian Legion being brutalized by the police.
The secretary of the Nigerian Legion, Lagos state chapter, Comrade Salami Ijaodola informed the newsmen of the condition of the victim, Kola Oshola, that a surgery has been carried out on  him, the second one was expected to be carried out either on Sunday or early next week.

He implored the media to situate the report properly by stating that a personnel of the Nigerian Legion was shot by the police but that he is responding to treatment, adding that the Divisional Police Officer of Ogumbo and the Area Commander were standing firmly to ensure that the life of the victim is saved.

“Our men wanted to carry out a peaceful protest to drive home their pain but we appealed to them to shelve it since the two authorities in the area stood and are making sure that the victim survives, ” he said.

The secretary also confirmed that the trigger- happy police man from Ogumbo division has been arrested and detained currently in zone 2, Onikan.   

When contacted for comment, the Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos Command, Benjamin Hundeyin confirmed the incident but declined comment on the whereabouts of the erring officer.

Other incidents of police brutality against men of the Nigerian Legion includes: One Edwin Chinedu who was stabbed to death at the toll gate in 2019, Moshood Ademola Alade was shot and killed in Surulere in 2017, Segun Olabisi was also stabbed in 2021, Samuel Balogun, stabbed in 2017 and Afolabi Segun stabbed in 2018 respectively.

Late Mr Edwin Chinedu, stabbed to death in 2019 by a police man.

Another victim, Moshood Ademola killed in 2017 at Surulere by a police man.
This one was shot in the leg.

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