Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The Senate wednesday directed its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to investigate reports of the re-instatement into the police force of a Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Danjuma Ibrahim, who was charged with the murder of six Apo traders.
This followed a point of order by Senator Sonni Ogbuoji who noted that the reinstatement is despite appeal against Danjumaâ€™s acquittal at the Court of Appeal, by the families of the victims.
The Apo traders, also known as Apo six, were five male auto spare part dealers and a woman, who were murdered in June 2005, allegedly by Danjuma and four other officers, who claimed the victims were robbers.
A panel of enquiry set up by then President Olusegun Obasanjo however indicted the police officers and recommended that they be tried for murder.
Following 12 years of trial, an FCT High Court sentenced two of the officers to death, but discharged Danjuma and two others. Despite pending appeal on the matter as filed by the families of the victims, Danjuma has been reinstated into the police force.
Senator Sonni Ogbuoji (Ebonyi PDP), speaking at plenary, queried how the court could have cleared Danjuma who was the head of the unit that murdered the traders.
â€œAlso, one of them, Othman Abdulsalami, is at large till date. But the court on October 12, sentenced two of the police men to death for murder. One is worried that the commander of that particular patrol unit that killed what is now known as Apo six has been reinstated by the police whereas the police have found others who were under his command culpable,â€ he said.
Ogbuoji argued that the development would create a lot of tension for the families whose children were murdered in cold blood.
â€œHow come one of the police officers is at large and the police are unable to trace his whereabouts till today, almost 12 years after, and then the one who was found guilty, the police are now saying thank you to him for killing those young people by reinstating and re-absorbing him in the police force,â€ the lawmaker asked.