By Innocent Anaba
The family of a woman, Mrs. Comfort Godwin Sunday, who was allegedly killed by a policeman, Corporal Museliu Aremu, on September 16, 2015, at Ijegun area, Lagos, have sued the Attorney-General of the Federation, and five others and demanded N1 billion compensation.
Applicants in the suit are Mr. Godwin Sunday Udoh, her husband, Mary Udoh, Blessing Godwin Sunday Udoh, Abraham Udoh, and Elijah Udoh, who are children of the deceased.
Other respondents are Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Assistant Inspector-General of Police Zone 2, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Corporal Museliu Aremu, the alleged killer police, and Police Service Commission, PSC.
Aside the N1 billion compensation from the respondents, the deceased’s family also seeks a court declaration that the murder of the deceased and severe maiming of her husband, on September 16, 2015, by Corporal Aremu, who intentionally and deliberately shot with an AK-47 rifle, at the police check point, at Ijegun, for no just cause and for no reason whatsoever, is most reckless, inhumane, barbaric, illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional, and thus constitutes a crass flagrant, colossal and total breach of rights to life and freedom of movement, as enshrined and guaranteed in Section 33, 34, 36, 37 and 41 of the Constitution of Nigeria, 1999.
When the matter came up yesterday, lawyer to the applicants, Mrs. Helen Ibeji, leading Omabe Paul, told the court apart from the first respondent, other respondents refused to receive service of the process.
She also told the court that the first respondent, AGF, just served her with a counter-affidavit, dated November 7, 2017, at the court premises and that she needed time to respond to the AGF’s counter.
AGF’s lawyer, Abubakar Musa, confirmed to court that he just served the applicants’ lawyer of his counter gaff I davit in court today, while blaming the problem in serving on the office bureaucracy.
Following the request for adjournment by the applicants’ lawyer, the trial judge, Justice Hadiza Rabiu-Shagari, adjourned the matter till June 6, for definite hearing.
The applicants, in an affidavit deposed to by the deceased’s husband, Godwin, who is a Pastor in Full Gospel Church, Egbeda, Lagos, averred that after a church programme at about 8.30p.m., himself and members of the family boarded his tricycle and set for their home at 51, Onitiri street, Abaronje, Ikotun, and that on getting to the police check point of Ijegun bus stop, the police officer flagged him down which he complied.
He also averred that when he stopped, himself and his late wife waited to hear from the police, and that Corporal Museliu Aremu requested that he should give the police N200 but told the police that he did not have N2000, adding that despite his explanation, to the team of the policemen at the check point, one of the officers told them to get into the tricycle and go but as he was about starting the engine, he heard two very loud gunshots fired by Corporal Museliu Aremu, who had earlier told him that he was not interested in any story than the N200 he asked for.
He also stated that one the bullets fired by Corporal Aremu pierced through right side of his wife’s head and came out on the left side, for which she slumped and died instantly, while the second shot fired by the same Corporal Aremu, pierced through his shoulder and smashed/shattered his right jaw bones.
He also stated that due to the accident, his daughter who is currently suffering from convulsion, will need N100 million for treatment in abroad before she can full regain her sound health and invariably the dignity of her human person, the pride of her womanhood and her full sense of her management.
He also states that when the incident freshly happened, the respondents promised to train his four children to the university level on scholarship basis, but he was shocked when he received a letter from AGF, wherein the said scholarship was only for their primary school education.
While urging the court to grant all the reliefs sought, stated that the respondents will not be prejudiced if granted.
But among all the respondents, it was all AGF that filed a counter-affidavit, to the applicants’ suit.
In the AGF’s affidavit deposed to by one Abah Sunday Abbas, a litigation officer in the Federal Ministry of Justice, stated AGF was at no time informed of the act that led to the institution of the applicants’ suit. And that from the facts of the case as deduced by the applicants’ statement of fact, and affidavit, no cause of action against AGF.
The deponent also stated that AGF was not aware that the applicants were arrested or shot at, until when the processes of the suit were served on its office, adding that the second to six respondents are not employees of AGF.