What Ohanaeze Ndigbo Leadership Said On The Judgement Of The Infamous Case Of Extrajudicial Killing Of 6 Igbo Traders In 2005!
A few day ago, Justice Ishaq Bello of the Federal Capital Territory High Court found two accused persons, Ezekiel Acheneje and Baba Emmanuel, guilty for their roles in the killing of six Igbo traders in 2005 (aka APO 6 killing}. The court convicted the two men, former police officers, to death for culpable homicide.
What Ohanaeze Ndigbo's Leadership Said; “Those convicted were convicted on account of their confessions that they killed the deceased, while their superiors who gave them orders to kill, as admitted in their confessional statements, were acquitted. The judgement has only served one leg of justice, leaving the other.”
Nwodo stated that the entire thing wore the face of “miscarriage of justice and creates the impression that those being prosecuted are being prosecuted based on where they come from and those acquitted, also from where they come from.
“This is not the kind of impression we are supposed to create in the country in a matter that attracted such a level of public outcry and involved a particular ethnic group, which has for a very long time cried out on how its people are being treated in the country. So I am going to write the new Attorney General, because the one that instituted the matter has left office, to ask him to appeal so that justice will be seen as served”, he stated.
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia John Nwodo, told The Guardian that the group would petition the Attorney General of the Federation to ask him to appeal the matter.
In case you did not know about the APO 6 killing here below is the BBC's report on the judgement & the killing;
Two former policemen in Nigeria have been sentenced to death over the most infamous case of extrajudicial killing in the country's modern history. Ezekiel Achejene and Emmanuel Baba were convicted of murdering two of the Apo Six - six young civilians who were shot dead in 2005.
Police initially tried to cover up the deaths, saying the victims were armed robbers who had opened fire first. But an earlier judicial panel of inquiry rejected that story.
The government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo later apologised on behalf of the police for the killings and paid $20,300 (£16,700) in compensation to each of the families.
However, a trial to determine which individuals were behind the killings was repeatedly delayed. Three other former officers on trial at the High Court in Abuja, who all denied involvement, were acquitted for lack of evidence while a sixth suspect was never brought to trial.
The judge, Ishaq Bello, said the court had had no option but to convict Achejene and Baba after they had confessed to shooting two of the victims on the order of senior officers. The two men had tried to retract their confessions during the trial but the court rejected this. "The two defendants have no regard for the sanctity of human lives," Judge Bello was quoted by AFP news agency as telling the court. "They are not only over-zealous but also extremely reckless."
The case, which was investigated by the BBC in 2009, concerned six young Nigerians from Apo, a satellite settlement of Abuja: Ekene Isaac Mgbe, Ifeanyin Ozor, Chinedu Meniru, Paulinus Ogbonna and Anthony Nwokike, who were all car spare parts dealers, and Augustina Arebu.
They came under fire when they approached a police checkpoint in their car. Four died on the spot and the other two were taken to a police station alive. The bodies of all six were found together later, along with weapons which the panel heard had been planted by police.
The phrase Apo Six has been trending on Twitter in Nigeria, with some tweeters saying they are pleased that someone has finally been held accountable. Many Nigerians complain that police officers and the military rarely face justice for alleged abuses against civilians.