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.