Policeman held for Makoko murder still on trial

The police corporal, Pepple Bomam, who allegedly shot and killed a community leader, Timothy Hunpoyanwa, during the demolition of shanties in Makoko, in Yaba, Lagos State is still on trial.

The state police command spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, told newsmen that Bomam had been arrested and was still in detention at the State Criminal Investigation Department Panti, while the in-house trial is ongoing.

“We don’t just charge our members to court like that. We first of all try them in-house before we dismiss them and then charge them to court. So, it is the trial that we are conducting now,” she said.

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It would be recalled that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko, had said that Bomam alongside other policemen were on illegal duty because the criteria for accompanying taskforce officials on demolition exercise were not met.

Meanwhile, the Social and Economic Rights Action Centre, the human rights group that organised a protest march in the wake of the demolition has said it was still preparing documents to file a case against the state government, for what it termed “human right abuses” during the exercise.

A lawyer with SERAC, Anie Ewang, said the group had decided to take its time to prepare a comprehensive case file against the state government, for violating the right to housing of thousands of Makoko residents.

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“Since we filed the first one to restrain the state government from continuing with the demolition and they halted the exercise, we decided to take time and prepare the case which we may use against the government, depending on further developments,” she said.

Ewang said SERAC aims at getting the government to engage the people of Makoko to find a solution and not just demolishing their homes.

“We are working in the best interest of the residents of Makoko and to let the government know that they can’t go about demolishing people’s houses. They have to discuss with the people. Since the people have said they don’t want to leave the place, we want government to look at the possibility of providing infrastructure and developing the area,” she said.

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Ewang added that the displaced residents were still homeless.


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