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Family of slain youth demands N10m from police

Posted by By GODDY OSUJI, Abakaliki on 2008/01/02 | Views: 627 |

Family of slain youth demands N10m from police


The family, of a promising young man, the late Chibuzor Ugwuani, 29, who was allegedly killed by the police on October 26, 2007 in Rivers State, is demanding N10 million compensation from the police authorities.

The family, of a promising young man, the late Chibuzor Ugwuani, 29, who was allegedly killed by the police on October 26, 2007 in Rivers State, is demanding N10 million compensation from the police authorities.

The late Chibuzor was said to have been gunned down by a trigger-happy police officer at a check point. The police later arrested the victimís in-law with whom he was travelling home after the day's work in Bayelsa State.
That was to be the last journey home for Chibuzor as he had no premonition that the journey to see his family was, indeed, to be a journey to the great beyond.

In a petition to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mike Okiro, dated November 7, 2007 the family is claiming a N10 million for the upkeep of Chibuzor's dependants.
The counsel to the family, Mr. J.I. Ochiwu, said that Chibuzor at the time of his killing in cold blood by the police at the Rumoji check point, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was a contractor who specialized in dredging work, saying that "he was always in company of his in-law, Mr. Ekene Ugwuani, who is also a contractor and a bread winner of his own family too and was about to be married to his heart throb before the incident.

According to Ochiwu, "the duo who were executing dredging contract at Bayelsa State were on their way to Port Harcourt after the day's job on October 26, 2007 in a car when one of the policemen, one Yakubu, shot Chibuzor as he was applying break to stop on the order of the policemen at the check point. In an effort to assist his in-law who was writhing in pains as a result of the gun shot, the same policeman shot Ekene in order to obliterate the crime, but for the appearance and intervention of a passersby, Ekene would also have gone the way Chibuzor went.

"Further to the copsí action, Ekene was arrested to make him a scapegoat, accusing him of killing Chibuzor and later detained at the Rumoji Police Station for murder. However, nemesis caught up with the policemen when the case was transferred to the homicide section of the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Port Harcourt and there was an order for the arrest of the policemen on duty at the check point at the time of killing of Chibuzor .

"The said policemen were invited severally but refused , neglected and ignored the invitation until a further serious move and demand for their presence at the State CID was made before they reluctantly presented themselves because they knew the atrocities they committed had been uncovered.
"It was in the course of serious interrogation that one of the policemen admitted and confessed that he killed Chibuzor to the knowledge of his comrades in crime who shielded him and rather wrongfully and unlawfully detained an innocent Ekene for the offence they committed.

The petitioner, on behalf of the family, lamented the killing of Chibuzor, an indigene of Owa in Ezeagu Local Government area of Enugu State by the police which has created a vacuum in the family and thereby denying his aged parents the care that should have come from him as the only bread winner of the family.

Ochiwu demanded that the killing of Chibuzor be handled with all the seriousness it deserves in order to serve as a deterrent to other police officers who find joy in killing innocent people.
"To let this killing go unchecked will give the police licence to kill at will innocent citizens they are employed to protect".

He, therefore, demanded from the IGP on behalf of the family, the sum of N10 million for the upkeep of the dependants of the deceased, "who your employee gruesomely, unlawfully murdered," vowing that "no legal step will be too big for us and no legal sky will be too high for us to take or reach in this matter in order to realize our demand for justice, so as to put in check, discourage and condemn the condemnable act perpetrated in our society by some policemen in total defiance and regardless of the law governing their operations.

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