Posted by The Champion on
GENERAL of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), has taken over prosecution of police men accused of killing six Igbo traders at Apo Mechanic Village, Abuja on June 8.
ATTORNEY-GENERAL of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), has taken over prosecution of police men accused of killing six Igbo traders at Apo Mechanic Village, Abuja on June 8.
Also President Olusegun Obasanjo has given approval that the victims be reburied by their families.
Lead counsel for families of the deceased, Mr Amobi Nzelu who disclosed this to newsmen in an interview yesterday in Abuja, said it was morally wrong for the police to have handled the prosecution before now.
Ironically, however, some members of the bereaved families also yesterday accused Nzelu of having compromised with police authorities on the reburial and dissociated themselves from it.
They vowed not to participate in the exercise until the commission of inquiry into the killings submit its report to President Obasanjo and government decision made public on the matter.
However, speaking on the case, Nzelu said because of intense interest generated by it, coupled with determination of President Obasanjo to get to the root, the AGF was compelled to take over the prosecution from police.
He said with the commitment of the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Sunday Ehindero to establish the truth behind the killings, the police took the matter to court adding that it was not entirely wrong for the police to have taken the matter to court.
Among police officers being prosecuted for the murder are Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Danjuma Ibrahim; Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Nicholas Zacharia; Police Corporal Nathaniel Issac; Police Constable Ezekiel Acheneje, Emmanuel Buba and Sadiq Salami.
They were dragged to court for the murder of six Igbo traders on June 8 at Gimbiya Street, Area Eleven, Abuja.
Nzelu said with the turn of events, the slain traders and policemen (Idam) would be buried in three weeks time, adding that management of Sosoliso airlines has been contacted to convey remains of the youths to Enugu airport where their respective families would receive their corpses for proper burial.
He also said the decision to re-burry them was sequel to approval by President Obasanjo that the corpses be released to their families for burial.
He added that laboratory analysis of the remains of the deceased conducted at the National Hospital and at forensic laboratory in Lagos proved that the deceased persons were not armed robbers, but were murdered in cold blood by the police.
He further produce a letter addressed to him by the Judicial Panel, dated August 19, where the presidentís approval was communicated to him for the re-burial.
In the letter signed by Barrister Isaac Idu, secretary of the commission, it said "this development is borne out of governmentís consideration and need arising out of the opinion of medical experts on the issue for a quicker burial and to begin a healing process for the families."
However, the other issues attendant to the burial will be dealt with when the commissionís final report, yet to be presented to the government, is considered.
"Accordingly, you are by this letter requested to inform your clients that the bodies of the five males and one female are available for collection at the Garki Hospital Mortuary, Abuja and that of late PC Anthony Idam at the National Hospital Mortuary, Abuja, respectively, please," the letter read in part.
On the issue of financial compensation for the released as well as the letter of apology from government, Mr Nzelu said such issues would be handled in the panelís final report.
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