A Nigerian man identified as Kolade Johnson was killed in Lagos on Sunday, 31st March 2019. This occurred after a stray bullet hit him during a raid by officers of the Nigerian Police Force. The officers are reportedly attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Premium Times reports that the shooting occurred while he was seeing a live football match between Liverpool and Tottenham at approximately 4:30 pm. 36-year-old Kolade Johnson reportedly died at the hospital from the gunshot wound sustained. Following this, the police officers fled the scene.
A man identified as his friend, Dennis Ikpoba, said the incident happened outside a Kingstine-Jo outlet in Mangoro, a transit neighbourhood close to the international airport. Ikpoba said the officers had arrived in an unpainted Danfo bus and quickly moved to apprehend a man they thought was a criminal suspect.
“The police said officers had a duty to go after Internet criminals (especially ‘Yahoo Boys’), as well as drugs peddlers, offences they widely associate with the youth.”
The man was identified as Ismail Folorunsho, a popular man around the neighbourhood. He was allegedly targeted because of his dreadlocks, but people quickly gathered to intervene.
“They wanted to arrest Ismail, who is known to everyone in the area, and people quickly gathered to find out why. We later learnt that it was because he had dreadlocks that they wanted to arrest, fearing he might be a criminal.”
However, Mr Folorunsho has returned to the streets, which proves they could find nothing to charge him with.
“Ismail Folorunsho has returned to the street, people have seen him around tonight. That must have been because they did not find anything on him and they should not have harassed him at all because of his dreadlocks.”
He also expressed his pain at losing a friend to a bullet emanating from the gun of a law enforcement officer who was charged with the duty of protecting him.
The death of Kolade Johnson’s has sparked up the #EndSARS Campaign once again. This began on Sunday night, and the hashtag is currently trending at number one on Twitter.
Also, the convener of the #EndSARS campaign, Segun Awosanya, said this was another avoidable case if the police system worked efficiently.
“This is another death of Nigerian that should have been avoided if our push for a more efficient and accountable system had been allowed to scale through.”
Celebrities are also spearheading this #EndSARS Campaign. One of them is Nigerian Artiste, Falz The Bahd Guy.