The coroner’s inquest into the death of Ademola Aderinto, killed during January anti-fuel subsidy removal protests in Lagos, continued on Wednesday, with a police officer testifying that he received a distress call about hoodlums terrorising residents.
Steven Onwe, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), who was attached to the Radio Control Room of the State Police Command, said the anonymous caller did not say that the group were protesters.
“I received an anonymous call that hoodlums had taken over at Yaya Abatan (area),” he said.
On January 9, 2012, while street protests against the removal of fuel subsidy were ongoing across the state, Segun Fabunmi, a Chief Superintendent of Police, allegedly shot and killed the deceased, at Yaya Abatan area in Ogba.
Fabunmi was, at the time, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Penn Cinema Police Station.
In his deposition, Onwe stated that “the voice call repeatedly call (sic) the police hotline that the situation was getting out of hand.”
“That I also directed the DPO Penn Cinema about the distress call receive (sic) by anonymous voice. That how the DPO carried out this operation is not known to me, as my job does not include operation.”
However, Onwe said there was no recording of the voice conversation with the anonymous caller, when asked by C.R. Chiwenze of the Access to Justice, a Lagos-based human rights organisation, acting as a party interested.
“No, I don’t have recording of the phone call received,” he said.
Onwe also said that there was no recording of the message passed across to the police officers.
Previously, the Investigating Police Officer, Olumide Alagbe, while giving evidence at the hearing police, insisted that Fabunmi had accidentally killed the deceased when his team was attacked by hoodlums.
The coroner, Tajudeen Elias, adjourned the case to July 25, 2012, for further hearing.