The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal has affirmed the 10-year jail term imposed on a former Divisional Police Officer in charge of Pen Cinema Police Station, Agege, Lagos, Segun Fabunmi, by a Lagos State High Court on December 14, 2015.
Fabunmi had been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment by Justice Olabisi Akinlade, who found him guilty of killing one Ademola Daramola during the January 2012 protest against the removal of fuel subsidy by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Daramola, a fashion designer, was said to have been shot dead when Fabunmi led a patrol team comprising five policemen to Yaya-Abatan and Abeokuta streets around the Ogba area of Lagos.
Apart from convicting and sentencing Fabunmi for Daramola’s extrajudicial killing, Justice Akinlade also found the ex-DPO guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to three other persons – Alimi Abubakar, Egbujor Samuel and Chizorba Odoh – during the protest.
Displeased with the judgment, Fabunmi, however, filed an appeal seeking to overturn it.
But in a judgment on Thursday the appellate court dismissed Fabunmi’s appeal and upheld his conviction and sentence.
The higher court dismissed Fabunmi’s argument that Daramola’s death was accidental, holding that there was clear evidence that Fabunmi shot at Daramola and other persons during the protest.
The appellate court also rejected Fabunmi’s plea that he acted in self-defence, holding that the defence of accident and self-defence would not avail him.
The court held that being a seasoned police officer, Fabunmi could have used rubber bullets and tear-gas, among others on the mob rather than resorting to the use of an AK-47, a lethal weapon.
Justice Akinlade had, while convicting Fabunmi in 2015, held that, “The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the defendant recklessly shot his rifle and in the process, the bullet hit the deceased. He definitely knew that shooting an AK-47 can cause grievous bodily harm to anyone the bullet hit.” (Punchng.com)