Posted by News Express | 23 September 2017 | 1,867 times
A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has found a five-man patrol team of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) guilty of extra-judicial killing.
The patrol team, which was led by one ASP Samuel Chigbu were found guilty of extra-judicially killing two friends, Michael Akor and Michael Igwe, in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the State.
The court also awarded N50 million compensation to the families of the deceased.
The trial judge, Justice Adolphus Enebeli, in the enforcement of fundamental human rights suit before him, declared that ASP Chigbu and his men, “undoubtedly and intentionally” killed the two young men.
He said the SARS officials violated Sections of the constitution on extra-judicial executions, adding that no investigation was carried out by the Police before killing the two young graduates.
Justice Enebeli, in the judgement, said after careful consideration of all the evidence before him, it was clear that the SARS operatives failed in their responsibility to investigate and try the two Michaels before killing them.
The judge said, “Claims that the two deceased were hit with bullets during a crossfire between the Police and some gunmen perceived to be members of their alleged gang, could not be substantiated. It was not a coincidence that the victims were shot “at the same part of their bodies, died at the Braithwaite Memorial Hospital at the same time and buried at the same place and time.”
Justice Enebeli further said SARS in the state has acquired the notoriety of extra-judicial killings, destroying the image of the police in Rivers State.
Meanwhile, Counsel for the deceased, Johnson Ejekwu, has said a death sentence for the convicted SARS officials led by ASP Chigbu and his men, is what his clients desired and not the N50 million compensation.
Ejekwu, however, commended the court for its verdict and called on relevant agencies to curb the excesses of men of the SARS in the State.
The aged mother of Michael Akor, Catherine said no amount of compensation could replace what she had lost.
She said also lost her husband, who suffered memory loss because of the killing of their son.
Chigbu and four other SARS operatives had since been dismissed from the Police Force. (Channels TV)
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