Nigerian police chief questions right to issue arrest warrants

Nigeria’s Police chief Adeosun says killing of an armed motorcyclist captured on security camera appears to have been unauthorised

Footage showing a fatal shooting at the toll gate of a major Lagos-based toll gate has left senior Nigerian officials questioning the right of the state police commander to issue arrest warrants, raising fresh questions about the dismissal of nine other senior officers last month for collaborating with the gunman.

Lagos state’s security chief, Imohimi Edgal, said the killing of a heavily armed motorcyclist on a bridge over the Akinwunmi Ishola Oshodi-Apapa expressway was captured on security camera footage by officers from the toll gate.

But the state police command, which oversees the area, told Reuters that it issued the arrest warrant in error. Lagos state police spokesman Kenneth Nwosu said on Thursday that the original warrant in the name of the state police commissioner, Imohimi Edgal, was “an unauthorized application”.

State police acting chief Fatai Owoseni, who has declined to comment on the shooting or grant the Guardian an interview, told reporters at a press conference that the deputy commissioner of police in charge of zones 3 and 4, Shakiru Tijani Owoseni, issued the arrest warrant on Edgal’s behalf.

The circumstances of the shooting are also unclear. Andrew Uliyasu, one of the four police officers who opened fire, told Reuters by phone that he shot back in self-defence after the motorcyclist refused to obey a traffic barricade, threw a metal bar at them and pointed a pistol at his head. He described seeing a dark object in the motorcyclist’s hand.

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