The Lagos State Police Command says it cannot yet commence investigations into allegations that Olusegun Abiodun Bolarinwa shot at unarmed #EndSARS protesters in October, despite a viral video still circulating online.
The President of the Yoruba Youth Forum (YYF) was caught on camera shooting at a crowd of protesters in the Abule Egba area of Lagos on October 20, 2020.
Hundreds of Nigerians had peacefully protested in many states across the country in October to demand an end to years of wanton police brutality.
Eyewitnesses said Bolarinwa had tried to address protesters who gathered in Abule Egba but he was denied on the suspicion that he was trying to enhance his own political profile.about:blank
“Everybody started shouting, so we told him to kindly leave,” an eyewitness, who preferred to not be named for fear of their safety, told Pulse.
While attempting to leave the scene of the demonstration at Abule Egba underbridge, a mob descended on Bolarinwa’s vehicle and surrounded it, with some pelting the vehicle with objects.
“Some people were upset, so they were after him and shouting and throwing water,” the eyewitness said.
As caught on a viral video clip, when Bolarinwa first fired his rifle from inside his car, the crowd dispersed in alarm, giving him a clear path to leave the scene.
He fired two more shots before he stepped down from the vehicle and walked back to fire six more shots with his raised rifle while the crowd fled.
He immediately returned to his vehicle to fight off someone that appeared to be a hijacker from his driver’s seat.
He then fled the scene in his car before a mob gathered to give him a foot chase, throwing more objects.
Two people were struck by Bolarinwa’s bullets, according to the eyewitness, and needed immediate medical treatment.
“Those two people are perfectly fine now,” the eyewitness told Pulse.
Since the shooting happened three weeks ago, many Nigerians, especially on social media, have demanded that the youth leader be arrested.
The death of Pelumi Onifade, the 20-year-old journalist that filmed the shooting, days later in police custody has intensified public scrutiny on ensuring Bolarinwa faces justice.
However, the spokesperson of the Lagos State Police Command, Muyiwa Adejobi, told Pulse that no case has been reported to the police.
Quizzed on why Bolarinwa could not be invited for questioning based on the viral video of the shooting that has been viewed over one million times on Twitter, he said it’s not enough that it’s trending online.
“Let’s have complainants physically, and we can deal with that,” Adejobi said.
The eyewitness that spoke to Pulse said the victims have not pressed the matter because they have been threatened to not make noise.
The eyewitness said a previous attempt to talk to the press attracted a particular threatening encounter for the victims, although details of that encounter were not shared with Pulse.
“The man (Bolarinwa) is trying to shut the whole thing down. The victims just want to keep their heads down,” the eyewitness said.
Bolarinwa refused to answer numerous phone calls from Pulse requesting his comments on the incident. He also didn’t respond to messages sent to him.