As I discussed the armed robbery incident with other occupants within our apartment complex, we noticed the gate open slightly followed by the unmistakable sounds of a war grade AK47 rifle."
At the Instant, I docked under a car in the apartment complex and noticed my security guard groaning excruciating a few meters from my location. Why did these robbers come back? Iasked rhetorically and prayed to be spared. Then as I heard the next round of shots, I felt the venom of the automatic rifle spew all over my body. So intense were the sharp burst of pains that I was on the verge of passing out when the words "Police" was heard from the shooter". A surge of deeply felt anger immediately numbed the pains from the fIve gunshot wounds - one in my feet, two in my thigh, one in my bicep and one in my wrist - as I identified myself as a tenant in the apartment complex.Why did he not identify himself earlier as required by his training? Did the words "This is the police" "Freeze" "Don't move" go on vacation in police parlance? Why will a police officer shoot an unarmed man five times under a car despite havIng his hands over his head?
My case is a bizarre one. I had been robbed by a gang of armed bandIts. Dispossessed of my valuables without been harmed only to be shot five times by a polIce officer attached to the
Ajah Police Station in Lagos state Nigeria! My name is Femi Badejo, a professional in one of
Nigeria's leading financial institution and a victim of a retrogressive, ill trained, unprofessional,
poorly clad and irresponsible Nigerian Police Force. However, I am not alone. M ore after the cut
Scores of Innocent lives are snuffed out daily by the very institution established to secure their
lives in Nigeria. In November, a policeman shot and killed a bus conductor In the Ketu area of
Lagos State over a bus fare change of 30cents. A human rights group, International Society for
Civil Liberties and Rule of Law estimates that over 54,000 Nigerians were killed illegally from
1999 to 2011 by the Nigerian Police Force. This amounts to an act of genocide against Nigerian
by Nigerians in Nigeria!
Dreams, hopes, aspirations and goals have been brutally pierced by the bullets of a poorly
trained "vigilante" unit legally recognized as Police Officers. To further add "salt to the injuries"
of the victims' loved ones are the incessant cover ups, lies and denials by the public relations
officers in every jurisdiction where these incidents occur. My shooting was downplayed to a
gunshot with a case of mistaken identity attached to it by NgozI BraIde (PRO, NPF Lagos).
While Joshua - the security guard - was said to have been shot by the armed bandits and dead
on arrival by the police officers. Joshua who was presumed dead after he was shot by the
officer is however recuperating from the three gunshot wounds he sustained.
While it is embarrassing that the Nigerian Police Force represents the decaying fabrics of
the larger Nigerian society where politicians will rather loot billions of dollars from the central
purse than secure the lives of its citizenry. It's appalling that an institution established with the
foundatIonal principles of equity, fairness, integrity and justice is known for the opposite of these
enviable attributes with a skillset of killing the citizens they are meant to protect. Even more
appalling is the pervasive non action of the political class - which will prefer to spend billions
on frivolities such as a N2.2 billion banquet hall! - public defenders, human rights activists,
clergymen and other concerned professionals on these immoral policing anomalies! Soon there
will be no citizen to police at this rate! Are we really that helpless?
I am not. My voice will be heard the world over because this culture of impunity must stop! I
type every word on my soft touch phone screen with excruciating pains as I still have a bullet
logged in my wrist and my fingers remain numb with paddings of gauze and plasters all over
my body. I have receIved no apology from the force, I am still Incurring hospital bills running into
thousands of dollars, the Lagos State commissioner of police has refused to accept the letter
served by my lawyers A.O Fayemiwo & Co, the NPF divisions in Ajah and Maroko have also
followed the commissioner's unprofessional conduct just as the police officer who shot me has
not been brought to book.
Once again, my name is Femi Badeo, a Nigerian citizen and I represent countless individuals
that have either lost their lives or survived the brutish policing of the Nigerian Police Force
and we are fighting back! We must ask the right questions, demand the right answers and
collectively find a lasting solution to the endermic problem of brutality by officers of the Nigerian