By Onozure Dania
Lagos—A Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square, will tomorrow February 12 give ruling on whether it has the jurisdiction to hear a case of violation of human rights in the alleged murder of four Igbo Ladipo traders.
The slain youths were Anthony Ezenwafor, Chukwuemeka Ezeofor, Izuchukwu Ezeama and Aloysius Osigwe. They were allegedly murdered by the police on July 1, 2001 at their residence in Surulere, Lagos.
Their fellow traders at the market led by Akaraka Chinweike- Ezeonara, Chris Okpara, Remiguis Ezenwanne and Ifeanyi Okoye, had dragged the Inspector General of Police, Attorney General of the Federation, Attorney General of Lagos State, Commissioner of Police Lagos State, Chief Marvellous Akpoyibo, who was the then Area C Police Command, as well as the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Aguda Police Station, as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th respondents respectively, before the court for the violation of human rights of the slain youths.
The counsel to the applicants, Osas Erhabor had on September 16, 2014 brought an application before Justice Oyindamola Ogala, for a declaration that the respondents violated the rights of the deceased by failing to investigate alleged robbery for which they were allegedly murdered by the police.
At the last hearing, the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter. They requested for an order of the court to strike out the suit for lack of jurisdiction on the ground that the originating summon was not properly filed and that the service was effected on only the first and second respondents in Abuja which is outside the jurisdiction of the court.
The Attorney General of Lagos State however distanced itself from any knowledge of the alleged murder. In a counter affidavit filed by the AG, it stated that it has checked through its records both electronically and manually and discovered that there is no record of such action. It added that it has not breached the applicant’s fundamental rights in anyway and did not take part in any way in the alleged killings of the youths