Today marks the 13th year six young Nigerians were murdered in the streets of Abuja by officers of the Nigerian police.
The “Apo Six’’, as the youthful victims have come to be remembered, centered on the extra-judicial killing of five young auto-spare parts dealers in Apo, a satellite town in Abuja, and a young woman, on the night of June 7, 2005.
To the public, it was another sad case of extra-judicial killing, but life, as it was, for the families and loved ones of the victims – Chinedu Meniru, Augustina Arebu, Ifeanyi Ozor, Anthony Nwokike, Paulinus Ogbonna and Ekene Isaac Mgbe, would not remain the same.
On Friday, the families, in their usual ritual every year since the incident, took to the spot it happened at Gimbiya street, Area 11 in Abuja to mourn the victims.
They took turns to air their grievances on how the matter has been handled.
According to them, justice has been elusive since the then DCP, Ibrahim Danjuma, who allegedly ordered the shooting, was not just discharged and acquitted but also reinstated and speedily promoted by the police.
Here is a timeline of key events since 2005. (Partly sourced from an article of the BBC on may 5 2009)
June 7 2005: 2200 hours – Apo Six meet Danjuma Ibrahim at a party.
June 8 2005: 0200 hours – Four shot at police roadblock.
June 8 2005: 0400 hours – Anthony and Augustina seen alive at Garki police station.
June 8 2005: 1100 hours – Police try to bury six in a cemetery near Apo.
June 8 and 9 2005: Two days of rioting in Apo and Garki districts
June 13 2005: Police begin internal investigation
June 24 2005: President Obasanjo orders inquiry
July 5 2005: Police witnesses testify the six were slain in cold blood
July 6 2005: Police armourer admits weapons planted on bodies
July 13 2005: Court rules the suspects will face trial
December 15 2005: Bodies buried by families
January 18 2006: Trial of police officers begins
August 3 2006: Danjuma Ibrahim released on “exceptional and special” medical bail
March 9 2017: Two former police officers, fingered specifically for executing Anthony Nwokike and Augustina Arebun sentenced to death.
March 9 2017: Judge free three police officers including Danjuma.
March 10 2017: Igbo Youths protest court Judgement.
November 26 2017: Police reinstates Mr Danjuma.