Apo Six – Justice delayed again, as court adjourns till March 9

Federal_High_Court

A Federal Capital Territory High Court on Monday adjourned till March 9, the final judgement in the case of alleged extra-judicial killings of six Igbo traders by the police in Abuja in 2005.

Five police officers were found culpable in the killings and are facing trial.

Judgement had been set to be delivered on Monday, 11 years after the act.

Justice Ishaq Bello of the FCT High Court, however, failed to deliver judgement and adjourned the suit.

The protracted trial has been hindered mostly due to institutional challenges ranging from series of adjournments, conveyance of defendants from the prison to court and difficulty in getting witnesses to testify.

Danjuma Ibrahim, Othman Abdulsalami, now at large, Nicholas Zakaria, Ezekiel Acheneje, Baba Emmanuel, and Sadiq Salami were alleged to have murdered the victims who were traders in Apo, a satellite town in Abuja.

The office of the Attorney-General of the Federation is accusing the police officers of killing Ifeanyi Ozo, Chinedu Meniru, Isaac Ekene, Paulinus Ogbonna, Anthony Nwokikeand Augustina Arebun.

The deceased, aged between 21 and 25 years, were returning from a night party in 2005 when they were killed.

The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the allegations, making the trial to go through full stretch of adjudication from 2005 to date.

The nation woke up to the horrific news of the victims deaths at the hands of the police who claimed the five men and one woman were armed robbers who opened fire first.

Following the deaths and the subsequent public outcry, an official panel of inquiry was set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Nigeria Police Force
Nigeria Police Force

Five officers accused of the killings and eight other police witnesses eventually testified that the senior officer involved, Ibrahim, allegedly ordered the killings.

The report of the panel held that the victims were at a nightclub located at Gimbiya Street, Area 11 in Abuja on the night of the incident.

The panel further had it on its record that the face-off between Ibrahim and the group allegedly started when the female victim (Augustina) turned down the senior police officer’s love advances at the club.

The testimonies of the witnesses that formed part of the panel’s report also said that Ibrahim’s pride and ego was bruised by late Augustina’s refusal to accept his love proposal and, therefore, set out to exact revenge.

The report also said Ibrahim had allegedly gone to a police checkpoint at the end of the street and told officers on duty that they were a group of armed robbers in the area.

According to the report which forms the bulk of the evidence in court, when the six young people came in their car, Ibrahim allegedly drove into them, blocking their way and ordered the police officers to shoot.

Four of the six died on the spot while Ifeanyi and Augustina had survived the initial onslaught.

The report had it that Ifeanyi had called his friends after surviving the burst of gunfire but that was the last they were to hear from him.

NAN reports that police officers testified at the criminal trial that Ifeanyi and Augustina were taken outside Abuja metropolis where they were executed.


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  • thusspokez

    Justice Ishaq Bello of the FCT High Court, however, failed to deliver judgement and adjourned the suit.

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) judge is the future.

  • Senator D

    Thank you PT for keeping this news alive after all these years… God bless you PT!

  • Rommel

    I am eagerly waiting for judgement in this matter

  • tsunami1earthquake

    What on earth has made this judge to adjourn this case? I hope ethnic and religious bigotry has not set in to pressure the judge to dither or delay until Nigerians forgot about the case and then the culprits would be quietly released to go home and be of good behaviour?

    Nigeria is a negatively wonderful country. We await what this judge is going to do whenever it pleases his IMPERIAL MAJESTY to sit and deliver judgment! Nigerian judges!

    This case has some elements of res ipsa loquitur (the thing speaks for itself) and guilty conscience to it. Otherwise, why did some of the accomplices in this crime abscond and are currently at large? If they held and believed the victims were armed robbers why didn’t they stand their ground and show the court where the victims had gone to rob people with arms?

  • iwe paul

    Thank you PT for keeping this chilling and horrendous story alive,may GOD bless you all. It is this same Police that some days ago assaulted our sensibilities with some stacks of money claiming it was bribe money by a GOVERNOR in Opposition in NIGERIA,and some very brilliant minds on this forum want me to believe them. Police is your friend! I will only believe the courts,and that is all the way to the Supreme Court!!

  • Julius

    Nonsense, this is going on far too long. Those police criminals should have been jailed by now. Justice delayed is Justice denied !

  • Ewens Lawson

    We cant comment on sensitive issues without spewing sentiment of some guise. The PT is telling us that the defendants have been in prison for over 11 years still counting…all on awaiting trial. The matter of justice is a three-way-traffic: Justice for the defendants (Accused), Justice for the Deceased families (Victims), and Justice for the Society. We cant expect unfettered justice in a situation where it takes over 11 years for the government and police authority to provide evidence and witnesses and facts to convict the defendants. I am for justice at all time but we must not carry sentiment and emotions into litigations. Remember the case of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha when the media so much drove us into becoming Judges and Prosecutors on the bases of emotions which took over 13 years to get judgment. Na waaa…ooooooo