A Special Offences Court in Ikeja, on Wednesday, September 23 2020, sentenced a dismissed police sergeant, Ologunowa Ojo, to seven years imprisonment for accidentally shooting a 45-year-old man, Taiye Akande to death with his rifle.
Delivering judgment, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo sentenced Ojo, 47, after finding him guilty of manslaughter contrary to the provisions of Section 224 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015.
Justice Taiwo held that there has been many incidents of extra judicial killings by the police under the guise of accidental discharge.
She noted that the sentence should serve as a deterrent to erring officers of the law.
“The defendant acted with gross negligence and recklessness without regard for human life.
“The defendant, Ologunowa Ojo is hereby sentenced to seven years imprisonment in accordance to Section 315 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2015 and I will take into consideration the time he has spent in prison custody which is a year and three months (February 2016 to May 2017).
“The time spent in custody (a year and three months) will be deducted from the sentence. This is the judgment of the court,” the judge held.
The prosecution led by O. A Bajulaiye-Bishi, told the court that Ojo who was attached to the Special Protection Unit, Ikeja, Lagos committed the offence at 7:30pm on February 3, 2016 while on guard duty at Frajend Investment Nigeria Limited, Shapati Akodo, Ajah, Lagos.
She said that Ojo who had served with the Nigeria Police Force for 16-years, shot the deceased in the buttocks during an argument.
“Akande was rushed to the Akodo General Hospital, Akodo, Ajah where he later died,” Bajulaiye-Bishi said.
While testifying solely in his defence on October 16, 2019, Ojo told the court that he had no intention to kill Akande.
He said that while he was on duty, he approached some individuals who were sitting on the company’s fence and had told them stop sitting on the fence.
“Some people came down while others did not, I got into an argument with some of them, I cocked my rifle and it accidentally went off.
“I never intended for the victim to die,” Ojo told the court.