- As court hears suit against IGP, PSC, others January 14
Alex Enumah in Abuja
A former lawmaker, Senator Fidelis Okoro, who represented Enugu North Senatorial district between 1999 and 2007, yesterday told Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on how one Mohammed Yusuf, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, allegedly murdered his son Chukwuemeka, five years ago in Durumi area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
In the enforcement of fundamental rights suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1165/2019, the plaintiff was asking for award of N3 billion as compensation and damages for the unlawful murder of his son.
The Senator joined in the suit the Police Service Commission, the Inspector General of Police, Nigeria Police Force and ASP Yusuf as 1st to 4th defendants.
The plaintiff in the suit filed by his lawyer, Mbanefo Ikwegbue, also prayed for an order of court directing the Inspector General of Police and the Nigeria Police to immediately arraign Yusuf before a court of competent jurisdiction for allegedly committing murder.
Okoro, in his statement of claim, averred that “on August 11, 2014, the deceased, Mr. John Chukwuemeka Okoro, was in the company of his friend, Sunny Black, eating at a restaurant in Durumi area of Abuja. A police patrol team from Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) office in Abuja, which came to Durumi in search of other alleged suspects, accosted the late John Okoro and his friend, Mr. Black.
“In the confusion that ensued, the police man shot John Okoro, who was having no arms first in the leg. Having maimed him instead of taking him alive for interrogation, irrespective of the fact that he was pleading his innocence, the police man by name Mohammed Yusuf shot him in the chest as a result of which John died. “
According to him, the deceased was initially taken to SARS Office in Abuja and in their continuous move to conceal the information about what had happened, took his lifeless body to Gwagwalada Teaching Hospital in Abuja.
He alleged that the police in a bid to further cover up told the mortuary attendant that it was a case of hit and run.
Aggrieved by the gruesome murder of his son, Okoro noted that he petitioned the then Inspector General of Police and the FCT Police Command over the extra-judicial killing of John.
“Although the then Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP Usman A. Belel of the FCT Police Command issued a query in November 2014 to AP/No: 79224 ASP Mohammed Yusuf of SARS, who was the leader of the SARS team on the day of the incident, and who actually shot John Okoro, nothing came out of it as it is alleged that the police always protect one of their own.
“Apart from ASP Mohammed Yusuf, two other suspects who were members of his SARS team on the day of the incident were also invited by the FCT Police Command for orderly room trial.
“The two suspects who were subjected to orderly room trial were: F/No 342822 – SGT Agada Kenneth and F/No 366505 – CPL Agada Lawrence.”
He noted that after the orderly room trial of both Agada Kenneth and Agada Lawrence, the police officer who presided as the adjudicator ruled and recommended as follows:
“That the incident was a case of extra-judicial killing and the two suspects were wrong to have killed John Okoro.
“That the two suspects be dismissed from the Nigeria Police Force with immediate effect for the extra-judicial killing of John Okoro.
“That the two suspects should be charged and tried for murder.
“That the two suspects should be detained in police custody until they are charged to court for murder trial.”
The Senator, however, noted that he was shocked when he received the news that the two suspects who were detained and waiting to be charged and arraigned for murder had escaped from police detention.
As at the time of filing this report, the two suspects are still at large since 2015 till date.
The Senator equally added that he had received an unconfirmed report that the two suspects who went through the orderly room trial with their team lead, ASP Mohammed Yusuf are still with the Nigeria Police Force and receiving their salaries from 2015 till date.
However, when the matter came up yesterday, none of the defendants were in court, neither were they represented by counsel.
The trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo consequently adjourned the case till January 14, 2020.