For killing four Ladipo market traders extra-judicially, Justice Olufunke Sule-Amzat of the Lagos State High Court, in Yaba has ordered the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation to pay N400 million as compensation to their families.
The four men killed by police officers in 2001 were Anthony Ezenwafor, Chukwuemeka Ezeofor, Izuchukwu Ezeama, and Aloysius Osigwe, who hail from Ekwulobia, Anambra State.
The court also found a former Commissioner of Police in Lagos and Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Marvelous Akpoyibo (retd) culpable, while it absolved the Lagos State government (the third respondent) through the Attorney General of Lagos from the killing. The victims until their death were traders at Ladipo International Auto Spare parts market, but were allegedly extra-judicially killed by the police attached to the Surulere Division on July 21, 2001……Continue Reading
The suit brought through an application for enforcement of fundamental human rights was filed by a human rights activist, Akaraka Chinwe Ezeonara, as well as Chris Okpara, Remigus Ezenwane and Ifeanyi Okoye. The other five respondents failed to appear before the court, despite having been served with the court processes and hearing notices.
While delivering her judgement yesterday, the judge held that the fundamental liberties of the Ekwulobia four, including their rights to life, and dignity of the human person were clearly breached by the police officers, as they were executed, despite not being sentenced by any court of law, nor were they found to have resisted arrest. The judge held that the police are empowered to investigate crimes and not to kill citizens.
“The officers mismanaged their firearms as there was no evidence of provocation. There has been a growing incidence of police shooting people at the slightest opportunity, under the guise of carrying out arrests.
A firearm is prima facie, a dangerous weapon, the handler owes the public the duty to handle same with reasonable care. Their actions are not in accordance with the provisions of the Police Act, and amounts to a violation of their fundamental rights.”……Continue Reading