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Abuja Killings: Tears as Photographer Gives Evidence

Posted by From Funmi Peter-Omale in Abuja on 2005/06/25 | Views: 507 |

Abuja Killings: Tears as Photographer Gives Evidence


The spectators at the disbanded Mike Okiro Administrative panel were shocked and moved to tears when a witness gave an evidence of how he was called in the early hours of June 8 to take the pictures of the five of the victims of the extra judicial killing by some Policemen.

The spectators at the disbanded Mike Okiro Administrative panel were shocked and moved to tears when a witness gave an evidence of how he was called in the early hours of June 8 to take the pictures of the five of the victims of the extra judicial killing by some Policemen.

Counsel to the victims' families, Amobi Nzelu called to witness a 32 year old photographer Chukwudi Chukwu who said he was called on his mobile phone around 3.30 am by one PC "Comrade" who escorted him to the Garki Police station where he met Deputy Commissioner of Police Danjuma Ibrahim, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Abdulsalam Othman and two other policemen he can not remember their names but would possibly identify them if he sees them.

"I have been working for the Police for over seven years. First at 3.30am, I snapped three dead boys and then later they came to call me at about 6.30am and I snapped five of them, one small girl and four boys.

They asked me to snap them together but I also snap each of them separately." according to him, when he was summoned to take the pictures, he was told they were armed robbers adding that he was used to snapping like that for the Police. he further stated that when he noticed that there were no gun shot wounds on the girl though there were blood stains on her body, he had to turn her around to snap the pictures. He also said it was like the girl was still alive as at the time they called him to take the pictures.

At this stage, there were shouts in the spectators as some women joined the mother of the deceased girl to weep openly.

The photographer revealed that he had to use his initiative to keep negatives of the pictures having noticed that he knew one of the boys as well as the fact that he had had problems with the Police over pictures he had taken sometime ago.

He also gave evidence that the remains of the victims were bundled into a Police van (with no number) in his presence and they said they were taking their bodies to the mortuary.

Chukwu also revealed that a member of the Ambush Squad, Anthony Idah that allegedly died last Sunday was with him on Saturday and there was nothing wrong with him. He swore that he was also called by the Police to go and snap his picture at Garki mortuary.

"I was surprised when I was called to come and take some pictures only for me to discover that it was that of Anthony Idah. I was with him on Saturday and there was nothing wrong with him.

In his evidence, he affirmed that the DPO Othman had called him to his office and told him that he should not worry that no one would call him before the panel and that the Police will give him protection.
Before the commencement of the sitting, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero had paid an unscheduled visit to the venue and spoke with family
members and spectators.

According to, he had to come because he had been briefed about the proceedings and needed to see things for himself. He appealed to the people to be calm and allow the Police to do their work.

He announced the interdiction of Othman, Zakariya and Audu. Nothing was said about Danjuma Ibrahim who has been fingered to be the alleged brain behind the
killings.

He also barred journalists from covering the sitting of the now disbanded panel.

In an interview with newsmen later, Chukwu revealed that he had been receiving telephone threats from unknown people saying his life was at risk but that he had to satisfy his conscience that was why he came out to give evidence.

Immediately after the sitting, the witness was whisked to an unknown destination as there were fears that he could also suffer the same fate that befell Private Anthony Idah.


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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.