Family sues Army for killing 31-yr-old breadwinner

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By Emma Amaize

WARRI — THE  Ewugharodo family of Orere town, Ewu-Urhobo, Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State, has dragged the Commanding Officer, 222 Battalion, Nigeria Army, Agbarha-Otor before a Delta State High Court for the alleged murder of Efe Ewugharado, a 31-year-old  fish farmer and breadwinner by soldiers on December 5, 2013, in Ughelli.

Other defendants in the suit instituted by deceased’s elder sister, Madam Julie Ewugharado and widow, Mrs. Mabel Ewugharodo, are the Chief of Army Staff; Commander, Joint Task Force, JTF; Attorney General of the Federation and Setraco Nigeria Limited.

The deceased had three children namely: Salvation Ewugharodo, male, aged 8 years and a primary three pupil of Ogele Primary School, Ughelli; Oghenetejiri Ewugharodo, female, aged 4 years and a Kindergarten 2 pupil of Ogele Primary School, Ughelli; and Favour Ewugharodo, male, aged 1 year, 2 months at the time of the incident.

The plaintiffs/claimants are demanding N500 million damages “as a result of the unconstitutional, wrongful and gruesome murder of the late Mr. Efe Ewugharodo, father of three children, by the defendants and/or soldiers under the control, supervision and command of defendants at 7.45 am by Ughelli Bridge, near Ughelli Main Market, Ughelli town.”

They urged the court to declare the shooting and killing of the deceased while he was riding on a motor cycle with his wife as unlawful, wrongful and ultra vires the power of the defendants.

The family alleged that soldiers barricaded the only bridge near the Ughelli Main Market without public notice, while a second bridge was under construction, causing a serious traffic gridlock.

The claimants averred that the 2nd claimant on the above date rode on the same motorcycle with her late husband and the scene was very rowdy when they arrived, adding that without any provocation, by one of the soldiers and when he demanded to know his offence, other soldiers joined in beating him.

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