Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A former senator who represented Enugu North Senatorial District between 1999 and 2007, Senator Fidelis Okoro, has dragged the Police Service Commission, the Nigerian Police Force and the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court, over the alleged killing of his son, Mr John Chukwuemeka Okoro, by a police officer, Mohammed Yusuf.
The 31-year-old late Chukwuemeka Okoro was allegedly murdered in Gudu area of Abuja when he was shot in both the leg and chest on August 11, 2014
According court documents, the incident occurred when the deceased, who just came back from London then where he was studying Business Administration, was relaxing and having fun with his friend, Mr Sunny Black.
In the suit number FHC/ABJ/C5/1165/2019 filed by J.K Ikwegbue the plaintiff is claiming the sum of N3billion as damages against the defendants, who allegedly shot the late Chukwuemeka Okoro to death.
They are the Police Service Commission (1st Defendant), the Inspector General of Police (2nd Defendant), the Nigerian Police Force (3rd Defendant) and one Mr Mohammed Yusuf (4th Defendant), an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) with Force No. AP/No 79224, who allegedly shot John Chukwuemeka Okoro to death.
In addition, the plaintiff is also praying the Human Right Court to grant the following, “to mandate/direct the 2nd and 3rd Defendants to immediately arraign/charge the 4th Defendant before a court of competent jurisdiction for alleged offence of murder.
“That the court should mandate the 2nd and 3rd Defendants to pay the plaintiff the sum of N3 billion as compensation/damages for unlawful murder of Mr John Chukwuemeka Okoro, son of the plaintiff.
“That the sum of N100m be granted as special damages for the ill-health of the plaintiff which was caused by the actions of the 4th Defendant.
He further asked that the sum of N20m be awarded by the court as cost of the suit to the plaintiff.
In his supporting affidavit, averred that the Police Service Commission set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria and saddled with the responsibility, among other things, to appoint persons to offices (other the Inspector General of Police) in Nigeria Police Force and to dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over any person holding the office in the Nigeria Police.
However, late John Chukwuemeka Okoro was said to have met his untimely death following the alleged pursuit of a car snatching syndicate at Mabushi area of Abuja on that fateful day.
The police patrol team led by Mohammed Yusuf, following a tip-off, went on the trail of the said car snatchers up to Gudu area where the deceased and his friend, Mr Sunny Black, were having a good time.
In the course of the police operation, there was a confusion and an argument obviously ensued and the police officer reportedly shot John Chukwuemeka Okoro in the leg and his chest area and he allegedly died instantly. His body was said to have been taken all the way to the Gwagwalada General Hospital Abuja where the police officers told the hospital authorities that the deceased was a victim of hit-and-run-vehicle. The hospital then admitted his body into the mortuary.
But the plaintiff and father of the deceased on learning about his son’s killing, quickly returned from his overseas trip and reported the incident to the police. He got his lawyer to write a formal petition to the police asking for a full investigation into the gruesome murder. This was done by the authorities of the police. Both autopsy report conducted by the police medical department and an orderly room trial by a panel allegedly indicted the accused police officers and this led to their detention and subsequent dismissal from the police.
But five years after the killing of the ex-lawmaker’s son, the police was said to have been silent on the matter which prompted the deceased’s father to approach the court and seek for justice for his son.
The case which was slated for hearing on Wednesday last week at Court 5 of the Federal High Court Abuja, was however adjourned for hearing by Justice Ekwo on December 5, 2015.