Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, on Thursday said the policeman who shot a tanker driver dead in Apapa will not go unpunished.
The incident led to mob action that left Sterling and Diamond Banks burnt.
The action of the errant Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO), who was simply identified as a sergeant attached to the Police Mobile Force (PMF) 23, had thrown Apapa into chaos.
Reacting, Owoseni said: “It was an unfortunate incident. Like we said before, the policeman in question has been taken into custody and currently being guarded in the hospital because he was stabbed.
“As of this morning, he was taken to the theatre for surgery. That notwithstanding, the provisions of extant regulations of the police would be applied in dealing with the situation.
“Without justifying their actions, I think the reaction from the drivers was as a result of bottled up anger. Some of them left their families to load at the port with expectation to return within two days, only to spend one week there.
“But that does not mean they should take laws into their hands. What they did was brazen lawlessness. We appeal to the public that when things happen like that, the rule of law should be allowed to take its course.
“The police are at the forefront of cleansing institutional rot and we would continue to do that. No policeman is given a gun to shoot at will. That officer is not one of us. He acted on his capacity as an individual, not for the police.
“The Inspector General of Police IG, Ibrahim Idris, has been very clear on this. He abhors lawlessness and has zero tolerance for cops who do not keep to the tenets of standard policing.
“I apologise to the public for the act of misconduct exhibited by that policeman. We would continue to ensure training and retraining of our personnel so that they discharge their responsibilities within the ambit of the law.”
On the extent of damage done to the said banks, Owoseni said it would be hasty to give a total breakdown of the loss accrued since the banks were still taking stocks.
“The banks are in the position to say what the lost. But from my assessment when I visited the place, no staff of the banks was hurt. They quickly evacuated.
“I can tell you that three vehicles were vandalised, and the banks were partially burnt”, Owoseni told newsmen, adding that 18 persons arrested after the arson were being screened so that those innocent would not be punished unjustly.”