Court Orders IGP to Pay N10m to Woman over Killing of her Brother

by on April 23, 2016

An Ihiala High Court in Anambra state, presid­ed over by Justice Jo­seph Nweze has ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase to pay the sum of N10 million to one Mrs. Am­aka Ugochukwu as compensa­tion for the trauma she suffered over the killing of her brother, Christian, by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Awkuzu.

In his judgement yesterday in a fundamental rights en­forcement application filed by a human rights lawyer, Francis Moneke, counsel to the appli­cant, Mrs. Ugochukwu, Justice Nweze also ordered the IGP to instruct his men to release the corpse of the deceased Chris­tian to the bereaved family with immediate effect, for a befitting burial.

Justice Nweze strongly dep­recated the wanton impunity with which the police execute suspects in their custody extra-judicially, without recourse to the due process of law.

He however noted that he was awarding only N10 million out of the N2 billion claimed by the applicant because the appli­cant who is a sister to the de­ceased was not a direct depend­ent of the deceased, hence the compensation awarded was merely for the trauma she suf­fered over the death of her brother.

The court therefore tacitly implied that the direct depend­ents of the deceased, such as the wife, children and aged parent can bring a fresh application for adequate compensation over the death of their bread winner.

In the suit No. HIH/MISC.158/2015, the applicant had dragged the IGP, Anam­bra Police Commissioner and SARS Commander to the court seeking a declaration that the killing of her brother in custo­dy of Awkuzu SARS was a vio­lation of his fundamental right to life.

She had prayed the court to order the respondents to pro­duce the body of the deceased to the family for a decent burial, as well as payment of N2 billion as compensation for his unlaw­ful killing.

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