A Federal Capital Territory High Court on Monday adjourned till March
9, the final judgment in the case of alleged extra-judicial killings
of six  traders by the police in Abuja in 2005.
Judgement had been set to be delivered on Monday, 11 years after the act.
Justice Ishaq Bello of the FCT High Court, however, failed to deliver
judgement and adjourned the suit.
The protracted trial has been hindered mostly due to institutional
challenges ranging from series of adjournments, conveyance of
defendants from the prison to court and difficulty in getting
witnesses to testify.
Five police officers were found culpable in the killing and are facing
trial. Danjuma Ibrahim, Othman Abdulsalami, now at large, Nicholas
Zakaria, Ezekiel Acheneje, Baba Emmanuel, and Sadiq Salami were
alleged to have murdered the victims who were traders in Apo, a
satellite town in Abuja.
The office of the Attorney-General of the Federation is accusing the
police officers of killing Ifeanyi Ozo, Chinedu Meniru, Isaac Ekene,
Paulinus Ogbonna, Anthony Nwokikeand Augustina Arebun.
The deceased, aged between 21 and 25 years, were returning from a
night party in 2005 when they were killed.
The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the allegations, making the
trial to go through full stretch of adjudication from 2005 to date.
The nation woke up to the horrific news of the victims deaths at the
hands of the police who claimed the five men and one woman were armed
robbers who opened fire first.
Eventhough the victims were hurriedly buries by the police after the
killing, their bodies were exhumed Following public outcry, an
official panel of inquiry was set up by former President Olusegun
Five officers accused of the killings and eight other police witnesses
eventually testified that the senior officer involved, Ibrahim,
allegedly ordered the killings.
The report of the panel held that the victims were at a nightclub
located at Gimbiya Street, Area 11 in Abuja on the night of the
The panel further had it on its record that the face-off between
Ibrahim and the group allegedly started when the female victim
(Augustina) turned down the senior police officer’s love advances at
the club.
The testimonies of the witnesses that formed part of the panel’s
report also said that Ibrahim’s pride and ego was bruised by late
Augustina’s refusal to accept his love proposal and, therefore, set
out to exact revenge.
The report also said Ibrahim had allegedly gone to a police checkpoint
at the end of the street and told officers on duty that they were a
group of armed robbers in the area.
According to the report which forms the bulk of the evidence in court,
when the six young people came in their car, Ibrahim allegedly drove
into them, blocking their way and ordered the police officers to
Four of the six died on the spot while Ifeanyi and Augustina had
survived the initial onslaught.
The report had it that Ifeanyi had called his friends after surviving
the burst of gunfire but that was the last they were to hear from him.
NAN reports that police officers testified at the criminal trial that
Ifeanyi and Augustina were taken outside Abuja metropolis where they
were executed.