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Slain Igbo traders not robbers -Panel

Posted by MALACHY UZENDU, Abuja on 2005/08/26 | Views: 378 |

Slain Igbo traders not robbers -Panel

THE six Igbo traders killed by the police in Abuja on June 8 were not robbers but law abiding citizens, the judicial commission of inquiry which investigated the incident ruled yesterday.

THE six Igbo traders killed by the police in Abuja on June 8 were not robbers but law abiding citizens, the judicial commission of inquiry which investigated the incident ruled yesterday.

Chairman of the commission, Justice Olasumbo Goodluck, who disclosed this while submitting report to the Attorney-General and Justice Minister, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), also recommended that compensation be paid to the families of the victims to mitigate the loss

In a swift reaction, Ojo said a physical audit of persons detained by the police will be carried out soon by government while those implicated in the report will be dealt with.

Headcount of detainees, he said, will reveal a lot of things at police stations just as he vowed to make appropriate recommendations to President Olusegun Obasanjo on the report.

However Justice Goodluck, submitting the report which was shilded from newsmen, hinted that some police officers were implicated by the report adding that they will be prosecuted.

She also exonerated the traders of allegation of armed robbery levelled against them by the Abuja police command, under the leadership of commissioner of police, Emmanuel Adebayo.

Justice Goodluck also explained that apart from the recommendations which contained legal redress against the indicted police officers, civil remedies including compensation to be paid to families of the youths, was also taken care of in the report.

Insisting that she would not mention names of the indicted police officers or provide insight into the quantum of compensation to be paid, Justice Goodluck maintained that only government could make such disclosures after it had made up its mind on the report.

To arrive at the recommendations, chairman of the panel said they took oral evidence from 48 witnesses, received 50 written memoranda from the public as well as visited relevant scenes and carried out physical inspection of exhibits.

She also said that autopsy and other expert reports on the killed persons as well as the ballistic report of rifles and pistols used by police officers in the "unfortunate event, revealed quite a lot".

She said the lies and conflicting testimonies of the police in the matter were punctured by expert reports received by the panel.

Apart from the judicial panel on the Apo Six, the minister who received the report, also inaugurated a committee headed by Justice Alfa Belgore of the Supreme Court charged with producing reforms on existing laws of evidence.

Another committee, chaired by Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly Hon. Titilayo Oseni, is charged with producing a blueprint for the removal of all discriminatory laws against women.

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