An FCT High Court, Abuja, on Thursday sentenced two policemen to death and discharged three others over the killing of six traders in Apo, Federal Capital Territory, in 2005.
Those condemned to death are Emmanuel Baba and Ezekiel Acheneje, while Danjuma Ibrahim, Nicholas Zakariah and Sadiq Salami were discharged.
The five were among six arraigned over the killing of the traders on June 7, 2005 on suspicion that they were armed robbers.
The sixth person on the charge sheet, Othman Abdulsalam, who was the Divisional Police Officer in Apo, is currently on the run.
They were charged with culpable homicide for the killing of Ifeanyi Ozor, Chinedu Meniru, Isaac Ekene, Paulinus Ogbonna, Anthony Nwodike and Augustina Arebun.
The judge, Justice Ishaq Bello held that the prosecution established evidence beyond reasonable doubt to the guilt of the 4th and 5th defendants.
He held that admission of the commission of the crime by both 4th and the 5th defendants were unequivocal “And I am convinced by the facts coupled with the now notorious extra judicial killing of innocent people by some members of the Nigeria Police, to condemn the inability of the members of the Nigerian Police Force to realise that the foundation of the police institution is perseveration of life and properties.
“The instance of extra judicial killing by Nigerian Police Force is one too many; the defendants did not only fail in their duty as policemen to protect the people but have no regards for their lives,“ he held.
He held that they were not only overzealous but reckless in their action,“No one can hide under the order of a superior officer to commit a crime, the 4th and 5th defendants are sentenced to death under Section 221 (a) of the Penal Code.“
Bello held that there was nothing in form of an evidence to adduce that the girl and the boys did anything that constituted any threat to the defendants.
The judge said that the 4th and 5th defendants admitted killing the girl and described the action as “a case of impunity of the highest order.’’
He held that the prosecution did not adduce enough evidence against Danjuma Ibrahim, Othman Abdulsalami (at large), Nicholas Zakaria, and Sadiq Salami to warrant their conviction.
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