Trial of a dismissed police officer accused of killing Kolade Johnson at a viewing centre in Lagos continued on Thursday before a high court sitting in Ikeja.
At the proceeding, the defendant claimed he followed procedures expected of him while carrying out the police duties that claimed the life of Kolade Johnson.
According to him the life of his team members were threatened by the mob that was preventing a lawful arrest of a suspect.
The defence counsel to the ex-police officer Ogunyemi Olalekan, Mr. Abayomi Omotubora claimed that his client (the defendant) acted according to the rules of engagement of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF.
Recall that the defendant is standing trial for the murder of Kolade Johnson, a 35-year-old man at a viewing center in Lagos
Omotubora at the continuation of trial made the assertion during Olalekan’s murder charge during the cross-examination of the fourth prosecution witness ASP Chris Akpanomo who was the Investigating Police Officer, IPO, of the case.
Questioning Akpanomo, the defence counsel said “the incident occurred as a result of the defendant carrying out his lawful duty as a police officer.
“As the IPO, you will agree with all the facts contained in the statement are true. Are you are also aware of what Force 237 is?”
Answering, Akpanomo said the murder of the deceased occurred while Olalekan was carrying out his lawful duties as a policeman.
He said that the defendant had said in his statement that he and his team were violently attacked by some youths while trying to arrest a suspect.
“Force Order 237 states that if an officer is attacked and there is no other way to save himself, he should use a firearm.
“It states that if another officer is being attacked and there is no other way to save the officer, a firearm can be used,” he said.
The IPO noted that the scenario where a police officer is being attacked and is being disarmed for the purpose of his weapon being taken away also falls under scenarios envisaged by Force Order 237.
Akpanomo while being cross-examined said that during his investigation, he never saw the corpse of the deceased and that a ballistic test was not conducted on the defendant’s weapon.
“An autopsy was conducted and it is only the doctor that can reveal the cause of death. I was not the one who signed the coroner’s form.
“Since the defendant said that he had fired the weapon, there was no need for a ballistic test,” the iPO said.
Earlier in the proceedings, while being led in evidence by the State prosecutor, Mr. Adebayo Haroun, Akpanomo disclosed that he is a policeman of 30 years experience.
Akpanomo said he was attached to the Homicide Section of the Force State Criminal Investigation Department, CID, Panti, when the case was assigned to him.
Narrating his findings, he said: “On April 4, 2019, a case of murder was transferred from Shasha Police Station, the case was referred to me. On receipt of the file, the defendant made his statement.
“In his statement, the defendant said he led a team of policemen who arrested a young man wearing Dada (dreadlocks) who was with his girlfriend.
“The girlfriend left to inform those watching a football match of the arrest.They went to rescue the suspect and it resulted in a rowdy session. The defendant fired a bullet and the deceased died.
“He gave his statement under caution and when he was brought in, he said he was not in the right state of mind to write. He dictated the statement and he signed it.
“Before the matter was brought to Panti, the corpse was taken to the mortuary where a post mortem was done.”
The judge hearing the matter Justice Adenike Coker adjourned the case until March 5 for continuation of trial and ordered that Olalekan be further remanded at the Ikoyi correctional facility.