Senate President Bukola Saraki has assured Nigerians, that the Senate will once again give consideration to the Police Reform Bill following the killing of one Kolade Johnson by police officers in Lagos State.
Johnson was allegedly killed by an operative of the Gbagada division of the Lagos Command’s Special Anti Cultism Squad (SACS) while the team was attempting to arrest another man because of his dreadlocks in the Mangoro area of Lagos State on Sunday, March 31, 2019.
Three police officers have been arrested in connection to the shooting as Nigerians have expressed outrage at the latest killing that’s another in a long line of fatal shootings carried out by police officers against civilians.
While reacting to the tragedy on his Twitter account (@bukolasaraki) on Monday, April 1, he said the report on the bill will be laid before the upper legislative chamber on Tuesday, April 9, so as to put an end to the impunity displayed by officers.
He posted, “My heartfelt prayers are with the family and friends of Kolade Johnson, the young football fan who was allegedly killed by men of the Nigerian Police in Mangoro/Onipetesi community in Lagos.
“Issues like the senseless killings, assault and extortion of everyday Nigerians by some ‘bad apples’ in the Police Force is what prompted @NGRSenate to introduce and fast-track the progression of the #PoliceReformBill.
“I have also been in contact with the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs and I am pleased to announce that the Report of the #PoliceReformBill will be laid by next week Tuesday.
“Make no mistake, the 8th Senate remains committed to the passage of the #PoliceReformBill to ensure that our Police Force is more efficient and responsive to the needs of all Nigerians.”
Johnson’s unfortunate killing on Sunday has led to a resurgence of the outrage against the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) who, although not responsible for the recent killing, has become the face of police brutality and impunity in the country due to past conducts.
Many Nigerians have taken to social media to air their displeasure with Johnson’s killing and called for the scrapping of FSARS, as well as the implementation of meaningful police reform to curb brutality unleashed on helpless citizens.
One of the biggest campaigners for police reform in the country, Segun Awosanya, took to his Twitter account (segalink) on Sunday to call on legislators to urgently pass the police reform bill for assent to prevent the death of more Nigerians.
“We will implore the @SPNigeria @NGRSenate to prioritize the passing of the #NewPoliceActBill for the assent of the President. We can’t continue to watch our young die while we pursue the cure to symptoms. We need this urgently. #ReformPoliceNG,” he posted.