Inspector Ogunyemi Olalekan (middle) says he didn’t intend to kill Kolade Johnson when he shot in the air during an altercation in Lagos State that led to the death of the 36-year-old. Sergeant Godwin Orji (left) is also implicated in the shooting with both officers expected to be charged to court for murder.
Johnson was was killed on Sunday, March 31, 2019 when officers of the unit, led by Olalekan, were attempting to arrest another man because of his dreadlocks in the Mangoro area of the state.
When he was paraded alongside Sergeant Godwin Orji as the main suspects in Johnson’s shooting on Tuesday, April 2, Olalekan said he didn’t intend to shoot the deceased father of one.
According to him, he only shot once in the air after his team was mobbed while trying to arrest a suspected cultist.
He said, “We heard a distress call that we should move to Mangoro. So, on getting there, we saw a group of guys smoking Indian hemp. We thought they’re cultists and effected an arrest there.
“Suddenly, they mobbed us, me and my boys. So, in terms of escaping them, I fired up.
“I didn’t know how it got to meet the guy in question that was shot dead, I don’t know. I only fired one up.”
Contrary to Olalekan’s version of events, an eyewitness, identified as Mr Nana, who was with Johnson when he was shot, said Olalekan trained his gun on them.
“Kolade stood right beside me, he didn’t talk. I was the one that spoke. Next thing I saw was he pointed a gun at us and shot twice,” he said.
Nana said he and Kolade left the relaxation spot where they were watching an English Premier League game on Sunday after hearing pleas for help outside.
They discovered that the officers were trying to arrest Ismail Folorunsho, a young man who appeared to have been targeted for arrest because of his dreadlocks, a common practice by the anti-cultism unit.
Folorunsho told Channels Television that he was trying to board a bus when an officer came out of nowhere to arrest him.
He said attempts to question the officers about why he was being arrested and where he was being taken to led to him being assaulted.
The struggle that ensued was what drew Nana and Johnson to where the fatal shooting eventually happened.