A Nigerian Bishop said on Friday that the killing of a police officer is just unforgivable.
Speaking at the funeral service for murdered police constable Nyasha Joseph, Bishop David Ibeleme said “Policing is very personal for me, and I am being very honest with you. I personally believe that taking the life of a police officer, whether the person was on duty or not on duty, is unforgivable.
“And I make that distinction because as far as I am concerned once you take the oath to stand as a police officer, you are always, always on duty.
“I don’t care if it’s your shift or not your shift. Once you are police, you are police 24 hours of the day. And to me, the police are the zenith, the driving force to deal with crime in the justice system.
“And when I was listening on radio and heard people talking about it, and I heard senior officers trying to be humble, saying we need to treat this (murder) the same way we treat any other murder, or anything like that…I know it was the necessary thing to say, a humble thing to say, a nice thing to say, a politically correct thing to say. But I am no longer a police officer.
“And I say we do not treat the death of a police officer like any other murder. We do not.
“It is a completely different ball game. Because when people start taking the lives of police officers then all of us are in trouble,” Ibeleme added.
Ibeleme said anyone who made the conscious decision to kill a police officer certainly would not care for the lives of any other citizen, including politicians.
“As far as I am concerned, it is a greater crime to take the life of a police officer than any other citizen in any particular country.”
The Bishop added, “We are living in serious times. While I am not the Commissioner of Police, it means I can say anything that I want to say and tell you, because there are things he cannot tell you and there are things the Minister of National Security cannot tell you…but we are arresting too many people that we do not need to arrest,” Ibeleme said.
Joseph, 22, a mother of one, was attached to the Morvant Police Station, and had been a police officer for just four months when she was reported missing after leaving her home on March 9.
One week later, her body was fished out of the Gulf of Paria near Sea Lots.
Two persons were charged with Joseph’s murder – Kenneth Browne, 39, and his ex-wife, Melissa Browne, 36. Joseph and Kenneth Browne have a child together, police said.
They will next reappear in court on April 18.
ACTING COMMISSIONER SPEAKS TO THE DAUGHTER OF NYASHA JOSEPH