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Opinions of Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Columnist: Daily Guide

Probe this matter

One of the stories in our Monday edition was about the fatal shooting of a suspect by the bodyguard of the Inspector General of Police (IGP).

The bodyguard is said to have laid ambush in his car to arrest the person responsible for the theft of parts of the automobile.

Simple as it sounds, the act of taking somebody’s life is something which cannot be glossed over under any circumstance. Even when the situation warrants the firing of a firearm by a law enforcement officer in self-defence or when his or her life is threatened, same is underpinned by Section 97 of the Police Service Instructions regarding the handling of arms.

We doubt whether the law would be applied, given the importance of the top man the bodyguard is serving. That is our fear and many think so too, unless proven otherwise. Perhaps he was justified in doing what he did or vice versa. Therein lies the importance of probing the matter in line with standards existing in the Police Service. Unfortunately, dead men do not talk so the deceased does not have the opportunity to explain himself, leaving the suspected killer’s word to work with.

. Given that a life has been snuffed out of somebody, somebody’s son, perhaps a breadwinner, it is only fair that the law is allowed to take its course so that justice would not only be done, but would be seen to be done.

Such precedence must not be allowed to remain in the law enforcement system lest it gives a dangerous carte blanche to others to easily press the trigger when they are armed, especially when they are working directly under ‘big men.’

But for the daringness of our team, the story would not have seen the light of day let alone such efforts at ensuring that procedures are followed and not breached. We are aware about manouvres to kill the story and keep it away from the media. This has heightened our fear about whether the right thing would be done.

Our country being one where the rule of law is supposed to be the order, legal procedures must never be marginalised under any circumstances simply because such a breach is in the interest of somebody who holds a critical position. Folks, this is about life which sanctity there should not be a compromise, no never!

We have gathered regrettably too that the suspect behind the murder is walking about freely as though nothing has happened. That is where our worry stems from. Is that normal? How would members of his family feel?

Only a probe or even the application of the Service Regulations regarding such matters would unearth the truth or something close to it.