Court sentences policeman to 7 years for manslaughter

A Special Offences Court in Ikeja, on Wednesday, sentenced a dismissed police sergeant, Ologunowa Ojo, to seven years imprisonment for accidentally shooting a 45-year-old man, Taiye Akande to death with his Ak47 gun.

The prosecution led by O. A Bajulaiye-Bishi, while presenting the case told the court that Ojo who was attached to the Special Protection Unit, Ikeja, Lagos committed the offence at 7.30pm on Feb. 3, 2016 while on guard duty at Frajend Investment Nigeria Limited, Shapati Akodo, Ajah, Lagos.

She said that Ojo shot the deceased in the buttocks during an argument.

“Akande was rushed to the Akodo General Hospital, Akodo, Ajah where he later died,” Bajulaiye-Bishi said.

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The accused while testifying in his defence told the court that he had no intention to kill Akande.

According to him, while he was on duty, he approached some individuals who were sitting on the company’s fence and told them to move away from the fence.

“Some people came down while others did not, I got into an argument with some of them, I cocked my rifle and it accidentally went off.

“I never intended for the victim to die,” he said.

However, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo in her ruling sentenced him after finding him guilty of manslaughter contrary to the provisions of Section 224 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015.

The Justice held that there have been many incidents of extrajudicial killings by the police under the guise of accidental discharge.

She also noted that the sentence should serve as a deterrent to erring officers of the law.

“The defendant acted with gross negligence and recklessness without regards for human life.

“In accordance with Section 315 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2015, I will take into consideration the time he has spent in prison custody which is a year and three months (February 2016 to May 2017).

“The time spent in custody (a year and three months) will be deducted from the sentence.

“This is the judgment of the court,” she said.

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