The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed an ongoing investigation into the killing of Adeniyi Sanni, an aide to Senator Solomon Adeola, who represents Ogun West at the National Assembly.
Reportedly, Sanni was fatally shot by individuals believed to be soldiers during the early hours of August 5, 2023, in Lagos.
Benjamin Hundeyin, the State Police Public Relations Officer, responded when asked for an update on the investigation, stating that the case was currently being handled by the State Criminal Investigation Department. However, he indicated that he could not provide any new information at this point, underscoring that murder investigations often take a considerable amount of time to reach a conclusion.
Hundeyin stated in a telephone conversation with PUNCH Metro, “The case is with the State Criminal Investigation Department. As of now, we have no significant updates. The investigation is still in progress. It’s worth noting that even in the United States, certain murder cases can extend for 10 to 15 years; there’s no specific timeframe. But let me clarify, the case has not been closed.”
According to PUNCH Metro, Senator Adeola’s Media Adviser, Kayode Odunaro, had alleged that Sanni’s death was caused by a group of soldiers working under the command of the newly-appointed Commander of the 9 Brigade at Ikeja Cantonment. Odunaro claimed that these soldiers had set up checkpoints and were involved in robbing solitary car occupants.
Odunaro criticized the Army’s lack of response to the accusations, saying, “There are numerous issues with their handling of this situation. A senator has openly pointed fingers at them, yet they’ve remained silent for four days now. This silence is an additional layer to the narrative. Why are they staying silent? They should provide a statement regarding the senator’s claims. I haven’t come across any response from them. Wouldn’t they respond if a senator raised the matter in the National Assembly?”
However, the Army, as conveyed by Lt. Col. Olabisi Ayeni, the spokesperson for the 81 Division in Victoria Island Lagos, previously stated that an ongoing investigation was being conducted into the incident.
Meanwhile, the Take It Back Movement, a human rights organization, has voiced concerns about the possibility of renewed EndSARS protests following recent incidents of suspected uniformed personnel involvement in killings in Lagos. The group’s Director, Juwon Sanyaoulu, expressed in an interview that this distressing trend was persisting. Sanyaoulu drew parallels to the events that sparked the 2020 EndSARS protests, noting that little seems to have been learned from those events.
Sanyaoulu emphasized, “Addressing the security forces can’t be detached from addressing the conditions that give rise to them. The challenge lies in the fact that those who should hold them accountable sometimes deploy them for activities outside their actual mandate. This pattern of impunity erodes their respect for the rule of law and the rights of citizens. Similar to the EndSARS movement, it’s only a matter of time before Nigerians are compelled to take to the streets again.”