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Lagos: Police sacks sergeant as court remands him over murder of teenager

The Nigeria Police Force says its investigation shows that Boko Haram, Ansaru and other terror groups are getting support from some Nigerians.

Following the conclusion of his orderly room trial, the Lagos State Police Command has dismissed Sergeant Samuel Phillips from service after being found guilty in the killing of one Monsurat Ojuade in the Ijeshatedo area of the state.

This is as a Yaba Chief Magistrate Court, yesterday remanded Sergeant Phillips in custody over the alleged murder of Monsurat.

Chief Magistrate Mrs Adeola Adedayo remanded the 30 years old dismissed officer, pending legal advice from the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

In a signed statement yesterday by the Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, disclosed that Phillips would be arraigned in court yesterday to face the law.

The statement read: “This is to inform the general public that Sgt. Samuel Phillips who was tried for the shooting incident of September 11, 2021, that led to the death of Monsurat Ojuade has been dismissed from the Nigeria Police Force.

“He was dismissed after the conclusion of his orderly room trial. The suspect will be charged to court today (Friday) for murder.

“Recall that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, had promised that the matter would be properly investigated and that justice would be served. This action is, therefore, done in fulfilment of that promise.

“The Commissioner of Police further sympathises with the bereaved family, and reiterates his earlier promise that justice would be done in this case.”

The defendant whose residential address was not given was charged before the court on a one-count charge of murder preferred against him by the police.

The Prosecutor, Inspector Agustine Nwabuisi, told the court that the defendant committed the alleged offence on September 10, 2021.

He said that the incident took place at about 11:30 p.m., at 5, Mogaji Street, in the Ijeshatedo area of Lagos State.

Nwabuisi said “Phillips whilst in a criminal raid operation unlawfully released gunshot into the house/dwelling of one Monsurat Ojuade, aged 18 years, hitting her two thighs, which led to her death.”

According to him, the offence committed is punishable under Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

However, Magistrate Adedayo, ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison, custody pending the legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecution DPP.

The case was adjourned to October 25, for DPP’s advice.

Similarly, the lawyer to the family of the deceased, Mr Israel Mbaebie, said they received a call from the police very late on Thursday, 23, 2021, that the alleged killer of late Monsurat Ojuade, Sergeant Samuel Phillips, will be arraigned at Yaba Magistrates’ Court, on Friday, 24 September 2021.

He said: “It will, however, be recalled that we had earlier written a letter to the Lagos State Police Commissioner dated 20th September 2021, wherein our clients demanded that the true identity of the said Sergeant Samuel Philips is made public and that the “stray bullet” narrative be changed to reflect the true position of things which is to the effect that the bullet that killed Monsurat Ojuade was not a stray bullet but a case of premeditated murder on the part of the killer police.

“We regret to note that while our clients’ demands have been totally ignored if not snubbed by the police, they have gone ahead to fix the arraignment of the alleged killer cop and only informing us just about 12 hours before the said arraignment.

“Our clients frown at this disrespectful and lackadaisical attitude of the police and also wonder how it has been easier for them to organise an orderly room trial of the so-called killer police without making public their finding till date and now, arraignment without making public the full identity of the culprit as earlier demanded by our clients.

“Justice cannot only be done but justice must be seen to have been done. Our clients feel hard done by. They feel that the police have not dealt fairly with them on this matter. This approach by the police is tantamount to shaving one’s hair in his absence. It is totally unacceptable.

“On our part, we assure all concerned that no matter what happens, the gruesome and brutal murder of late Monsurat Ojuade can never be swept under the carpet. We must ensure that she and her family get the justice that they deserve and desire. Justice must be served and rightly so,” Mbaebie said.

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