Lekki shooting video sparks Nigeria police questions

Image copyright Imo Ananyu Image caption The shooting took place on Friday and the Police have refused to reveal many details New CCTV footage from a stretch of road in Lekki, Lagos, in which…

Lekki shooting video sparks Nigeria police questions

Image copyright Imo Ananyu Image caption The shooting took place on Friday and the Police have refused to reveal many details

New CCTV footage from a stretch of road in Lekki, Lagos, in which a man was shot in the head, has prompted fresh questions about the police’s actions.

The man has been identified as 56-year-old Mokwulenyi Ngele, from Mafoluku in Lagos state.

Cameras from an out-of-use pay-road near the toll gate show the shooting took place on Friday at around 12:23 GMT.

The video can be viewed here .

How is the shooting different to what happened in Benin?

Police outside Benin in central west Nigeria were filmed shooting and killing three men on a low-slung motorbike in March.

The men had stopped to put yellow flowers at a road side memorial for the rape and murder of a woman a year earlier, when they were approached by two police officers.

That video shocked Nigeria and provoked fresh demands for an independent inquiry.

Some commentators believe the Benin police force is still haunted by a scandal more than two decades ago involving four officers who are believed to have abducted, tortured and killed residents.

Arrests and convictions followed, but there are persistent allegations of corruption among officers.

The criticisms of the police seem only to have been amplified by Mr Ngele’s death in Lekki, Nigeria’s megacity.

Why was CCTV outside the toll gate unusable?

As soon as they realise they are being watched, many of Nigeria’s public spaces and hundreds of private guards operate on instinct rather than the law, using guns and water cannon in a daily struggle for control.

Nigerian traffic wardens can sometimes be armed, although it is not clear if police outside Lekki had them.

CCTV cameras are known to prevent disruption, but are not ideal for the death of a young person.

Image copyright Imo Ananyu Image caption The tyres of a taxi and a police car were punctured on the spot as the shooting occurred

That reality was apparent in Tincan Island, where the brutal killing of a Nigerian artist and his girlfriend shocked the country in 2014.

The man was not shot, but was pulled out of the lake and drowned by customs officers who wanted to avoid having to pay any responsibility for the victims’ deaths.

The government promised compensation, but, despite relentless campaigning by the son of the victims, many of the officers involved have still not been prosecuted.

But this is the first confirmed case of someone being shot in the head by a police officer on duty in Nigeria in recent years.

How can a person be killed by a police officer with a gun?

Nigeria’s police have thousands of guns – to ward off criminals, to protect lives and most of all to protect the police.

The senior officers decide which weapons to carry. They can be outfitted with tens of thousands of bullets, costing up to £150 each.

“If you were to stop and ask every single policeman [in Nigeria] to reveal the weapons he carries, maybe you’d find five or six with just one bullet,” said Benjamin Kalu, a lawyer, from an NGO dedicated to policing, PACT, which is usually opposed to arming the police.

The police say the guns are necessary because Nigerian forces are too small and badly armed.

How did the shooting escalate?

The CCTV footage shows the man on a low-slung motorbike parked in front of the toll gate, not far from the main road.

That usually puts off drivers, who see a pedestrian and are reluctant to stop. The man is waiting for a space – and soon, three cars start driving past. The police then blow up one of the tyres of the motorbike.

Mokwulenyi Ngele, the driver of the motorbike was shot and fell to the ground.

The footage then shows the police shooting him in the head and backing away from the scene.

The crowd roars with applause as the injured Ngele is rushed to hospital. The police keep their distance.

Who is responsible?

One of the main causes of accidents and deaths on Nigeria’s roads is bad driving.

Many accidents are caused by moving from one side of the road to the other, just to get out of a rush-hour traffic jam, and often by speeding to an emergency without stopping.

Drivers do not pay for the petrol that powers the car, because many feel it is necessary to keep on the road.

The police in Lekki would not say whether the “officers” had been arrested or even identified.

‘Aftermath’ will be broadcast on Newsbeat, BBC Two’s weekly current affairs programme, on Sunday,

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