Nigerian police kill protestors against cop brutality

Police reportedly fired live ammunition into a crowd of young people on April 3rd, killing two — at a protest against the force's killing of another man two days previously.

The protest, called in the Ajegunle suburb against the April 1st killing of 24-year-old Charles Okafor, was turned into a bloody massacre after police responded to some hurled stones by spraying bullets around the street. Local media said four people had died in the incident, specifically attributing two deaths to the police action. Sources at Lagos police dismissed the claims, saying no-one had died.

Tensions have been growing in the city as public pressure is put on the local government to clean up Lagos' notoriously corrupt and violent public service. The situation came to a head after Okafor allegedly died from a beating meted out when he was allegedly caught spraying graffiti.

Again, police have refused to take responsibility for the death, saying there were no marks found in his autopsy and telling reporters "he just slumped over" as police were arresting him.

The protests in Ajegunle have been mirrored in Abuja, where motorcycle couriers rioted and barricaded a road on April 2nd after a policeman allegedly killed one of their colleagues at a police observation point near the junction. This has also been denied, with police saying the death was an accident.

Further protests are likely, including one organised by the youth group Enoughisenough, which will be holding a demonstration at the office of the Lagos state Governor in Alausa, on April 13th against corruption and the state's misuse of power.

Posted By

Rob Ray
Apr 5 2010 12:48

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