Regular alcohol abuse by police officers assigned to the Ajiwe Police Division in Ajah, Lagos State, may be to blame for the rise in the number of extrajudicial killings carried out by officers from the station.
The trend according to investigation was also noticed by locals and business owners.
They claim that while on duty and during patrol, the police officers are constantly under the influence of alcohol.
They claimed that this may have been the cause of the recent murder of Bolanle Raheem, a pregnant lawyer, by station-affiliated Assistant Superintendent of Police Drambi Vandi.
Gafaru Buraimoh, a resident who was on his way to buy fuel, was also shot dead by an inspector from the same division, Imeh Johnson, two weeks prior.
Some of the officers were grouped in pairs outside the police station when our correspondent arrived on Tuesday around 10am.
A closer look showed that some of them were drinking alcohol from sachets while carrying large weapons.
One of the two officers was observed with a glass cup of beer, which he sipped periodically as he sat close to a barbershop attached to a building beside the station.
A police officer with a pistol strapped to his waist was observed drinking from a can as another group of officers took cover underneath a shed next to the station.
While some of the vendors near the police station put some alcoholic beverages within the reach of the officers, other officers avoided prying eyes by walking a distance to patronize other vendors.
After nearly an hour of watching this, a fair-looking officer who had been seen earlier pacing the station’s hallway beckoned to our reporter.
He was obviously intoxicated because his body reeked of alcohol when you were close to him.
The policeman, who sounded incoherent, asked for N200 while the reporter assumed he was about to be questioned about his presence near the police station.
The reporter gave him N1,000 in anticipation of his balance out of curiosity.
The officer took him to a vendor right away, bought a sachet of alcohol, and downed it while the vendor gave him the rest of the money.
This online newspaper also discovered that the police frequently visited some alcohol vendors who were located behind a car park underneath the Ajah Bridge, where Raheem was fatally shot.
When some police officers arrived to serve a female customer who had been spotted at a corner under the bridge, our correspondent, who had visited the location and interacted with some of the street kids, watched as they were hailed by the children.
Soliu Adekanmbi, a local, claimed that the officers were well-known for abusing alcohol in public.
The officers carry out their duties as they see fit, and nobody checks them, he claimed. It appears that no one is able to confront them. While on duty, the majority of them always have alcohol packs with them. They consume them while wearing uniforms here beneath the bridge. Everyone is aware of it, but because the police have taken no action, nobody can speak out.
Our correspondent also learned that the majority of the police officers had lived in the area for a considerable amount of time and had resisted being transferred.
Due to the sensitive nature of the subject, the chairman of a community development association spoke on the condition of anonymity. He claimed that this had contributed to their excesses in the neighborhood.
“The majority of the police officers have made this community their permanent home,” he said. The majority of them progress up the ranks to retire here. They have gotten out of control as a result.
Thanks for using our platform to learn about the latest Newsonline on Ajah Police Officers