By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, slated January 14 to hear suit a former Senator, Fidelis Okoro, filed against the Nigerian Police Force over alleged extra-judicial murder of his son.
Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered the service of hearing notice on all the defendants in the matter.
Okoro who represented Enugu North Senatorial District between 1999 and 2007, cited the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu and the Police Service Commission, as defendants in the suit.
In a statement of claim he filed before the court, the plaintiff, alleged that his son Mr John Chukwuemeka Okoro, was shot in cold blood by a police officer identified as Mohammed Yusuf.
He told the court that the 31-year old Chukwuemeka was shot in Gudu District of Abuja, shortly after he returned from London where he was studying Business Administration.
According to the plaintiff, his son met his untimely death on August 11, 2014, while he was “relaxing and having fun with his friend, Mr Sunny Black”.
He told the court that the incident occurred after a police patrol team led by the alleged culprit, Yusuf, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) with Force No. AP/No 79224, claimed they pursued a
car snatching syndicate to the area based on a tip-off.
The plaintiff averred that in the course of the police operation, an argument ensued that led Yusuf who was sued as the 4th defendant, to shoot the victim on the leg and chest, resulting to his instant death.
The former lawmaker told the court that his son’s body was taken all the way to Gwagwalada General Hospital Abuja, where the police officers told the hospital authorities that the deceased was a victim of hit and run vehicle.
He said the hospital thereafter admitted his body into the mortuary.
The plaintiff said after he learned about circumstances that surrounded his son’s death, he got his lawyer to write a formal petition to the police asking for a full investigation into the gruesome murder.
He told the court that both autopsy report conducted by the police medical department and an orderly room trial by a panel purportedly indicted the accused police officers, leading to their detention and subsequent dismissal from the police.
However, according to him, five years after the probe, none of the officers were prosecuted.
Consequently, the plaintiff said he decided to approach the court to seek justice for his son.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/C5/1165/2019, which the plaintiff filed through his lawyer, Mr. Mbanefo Ikwegbue, he prayed the court to among other reliefs, award N3billion against the defendants as general and aggravated damages.
The plaintiff is also praying the court to mandate/direct the 2nd and 3rd Defendants to immediately arraign/charge the 4th Defendant before a court of competent jurisdiction for alleged offence of murder.