News Analysis

Ensuring Justice for Late Remo Stars Footballer, Kazeem Tiamiyu

On February 22, 2020, a Nigerian footballer who played for Remo Stars Football Club, Kazeem Tiamiyu also known as Kaka, bade the world farewell in a very controversial manner in Sagamu, Ogun State.

The deceased who was also the assistant captain of Remo Stars was said to be driving in the company of one of his teammates, Sanni Abubakar.

According to the report, he was said to have been stopped by some officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS.

Report says one of the SARS officers had allegedly labelled Tiamiyu a cyber-fraudster, popularly known as yahoo boy and decided to take him to a police station close by.

Tiamiyu was said to have identified himself as a player of Remo Stars, however, this fell on the deaf ears of the SARS officers.

In a statement by the media officer of Remo Stars FC, one of the SARS officers was alleged to have pushed Tiamiyu out of the vehicle that was conveying him to the station and in the process, he was knocked down by a vehicle.

The young star was subsequently confirmed dead on arrival when he was rushed to a nearby private hospital.

The death of Kazeem Tiamiyu was just few of extrajudicial killings of innocent Nigerians by personnel of both the nation’s security agencies.

In October 2016, a player of Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan, Joseph Izu was killed by soldiers of Joint Miltary Task Force in Okaki, Ahoada, Rivers State.

It is so cruel that a defenceless player like Tiamiyu who had gone to meet his manager a day before the incident ahead of his football trials coming up in Sweden would just be killed like a fly.

Instead of being remorseful and sympathetic, Nigeria Police, Ogun State Command, issued a statement which generated a public outcry on the situation that led to Kaka’s death which of course contradicted the position of Remo Stars FC.

A protest was staged on the police reaction by some youths in Sagamu where some people were feared dead.

In the light of this, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu disbanded the Zonal Intervention Squad, ZIS, in Ogun State, while the officers involved was been arrested for being on illegal duty, and for failure to obtain clearance from the formation in Sagamu before the operation.

The killing of Tiamiyu should not be swept under the carpet as it was in the case of Joseph Izu where hasty investigation exonerated the person that killed him.

The Inspector General of Police should rise to the calls to reform the Nigeria Police to make them more people-friendly and as well conform to international standard in the discharge of their duties.

No matter the pressure, Nigeria Police must protect the people and not kill them.

The hierarchy of the police must admit its shortcomings and restore sanity into the force, thereby preventing such provocative cases in the future.

Furthermore, Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun must live to his words that such ugly incident would not occur again in the state and that the case would be thoroughly investigated.

The governor should equally consider immortalising the footballer by naming a sports institution or facility after him.

The governor, during a visit to the parents of the dead footballer, had promised to use all instruments of government to unearth the circumstances surrounding the death of Tiamiyu.

The management of Remo Stars FC should equally ensure that all entitlements accrued to Kazeem Tiamiyu are paid to his family as soon as possible, while the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, should equally come up with an award in honour of the late assistant captain of Remo Stars FC for his contribution to the development of football in Nigeria.

Nigerians are patiently waiting to see that not only is justice served but also seen that it has been served.

Olaolu Fawole

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