The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, has ordered that the two police officers caught on camera assaulting a young lawyer, Olakunle Kareem, should be tried on oath.
In a press statement obtained by Saharareporters, the commissioner of Police described the conduct of the policemen as unprofessional, and also ordered the Deputy Commissioner of Police, SCIID Panti Yaba to investigate the squabble that led to the arrest of the young lawyer.
Kareem had gone to his former employer, Oluyomi Olawore, in his chambers, Olawore & Co, at No 28/30 Macarty Street, Lagos Island, to demand for his unpaid salary.
Olawore then called the Police in to arrest Kareem, who was alleged to have disconnected the company’s CCTV camera in protest against the withholding of his salary.
However, the policemen were seen on camera slapping Kareem before he was ventually taken out of the law firm.
Reacting to the video, Imohimi said the police officers captured on camera are not members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) as earlier reported by some online platforms.
The statement reads in part: “Findings into the case revealed that the officers in the video are not SARS operatives as alleged but conventional policemen attached to Lion Building Police Station who were invited to the chambers of Olawore & Co of No 28/30 Macarty Street, Lagos Island by the managing partner, Barrister Oluyomi Olawore.
“The said Barrister Oluyomi Olawore sent a distress call to the police through one of his junior partners, requesting that he be rescued from another junior partner by name Barrister Olakunle Kareem whom he alleged was about to use an unlawful force on him having disconnected the Firms' CCTV cameras and locked up all doors leading into the firm and by so doing, held Barrister Olawore hostage inside his office.
“It was based on the complaint that the DPO in charge of Lion Building dispatched policemen to the troubled chamber to bring the feuding lawyers over for interrogation. However, the Commissioner of Police observed with dismay that the policemen sent to the scene were not at their professional best.
“He has therefore ordered that the policemen, who had been arrested, be tried on oath. They risk stiff punishment for their actions. The CP also directed that the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Lion Building be queried for lack of supervision.
“Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, SCIID Panti Yaba has been directed to take over investigation of the case and critically look into the matter concerning the two lawyers with the view to diligently prosecute both or anyone of them found wanting."
Also reacting to the now viral video, the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association said a petition had been sent to the association’s Disciplinary and Ethics Committee against Olakunle.
“The investigation of the petition will help establish the facts of what transpired on 29 June between the parties and further give his employer an opportunity to state his own side of the story,” the association said.