Monday, November 28, 2022

#EndSARS: Lagos suspends neighbourhood watch officers for joining police to brutalise protesters

The officers were publicly de-kitted, suspended for two months and their behaviour will be evaluated upon resumption.

• October 22, 2021
Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps officers
A photo of Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps officers used to illustrate the story [Photo credit:Business Post Nigeria]

Four officers of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Agency (LSNA) have been suspended for assaulting a protester during the #EndSARS memorial held on Wednesday.

The Agency said after investigating a viral video where its officers were seen assaulting Uber driver Adedotun Clement, it found the officers guilty and sanctioned them.

The officers were publicly de-kitted and suspended from the agency for two months. As part of their punishment they will resume to another agency for behavioral evaluation.

“The Management of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Agency (LNSA) has sanctioned all the Officers involved in the unlawful treatment of Mr Adedotun Clement (the Uber Driver) during the ENDSARS anniversary protest,” a statement from LSNA reads.

The statement said after the conduct of an orderly room trial, the two officers and their supervising officers at the venue of the protest were “charged with disreputable conduct as a result of the assault on a member of the public.”

LSNA said its officers used pepper spray on the victim, “which is not a standard issue kit for officers of the Agency.”

The statement never said how the officers came about pepper spray.

The senior officials in-charge of the operations were suspended for a month, while their roles will be conducted by their deputies while they remain on suspension.

“The Commanding Superintendents and the Divisional Commander for Lagos Division of LNSC, under whose jurisdiction and command at the event were also suspended for one Month and their deputies are to act in their place until further notice,” the statement said.

The LSNA tendered a public apology to Mr Adedotun “for the conduct of the officers,” adding that it places high premium on its relationship with the public as its greatest asset.

On Wednesday, scores of Nigerian youths observed the one year anniversary of the October 20, 2020 #EndSARS protest.

The memorial turned chaotic after the police shot teargas at civilians and arrested protesters, including journalists at the protest ground.

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