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‘No justice after 8 years’ — lawyers demand compensation for families of drivers killed by police

‘No justice after 8 years’ — lawyers demand compensation for families of drivers killed by police
October 17
21:06 2020

Lawyers to the families of Endurance Omonyahuy and Sikiru Amusa, said to have been killed by a bribe-seeking policeman in Lagos, have written to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of the state.

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The lawyers are demanding compensation for the families of the victims who died in February 2012.

As part of efforts to ensure accountability for victims, Sanwo-Olu had, on Thursday, announced that the state had set up a seven-man judicial panel of inquiry to investigate cases of brutality and human rights abuses committed by operatives of the disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS).

The governor said the objective of the panel is to bring erring officers to book and get compensation for the victims and their families.

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According to a letter dated October 16, 2020, and signed by Abayomi Sadiku, managing partner of Vernia Legal Practitioners, the victims were accosted on February 15, 2012 by Niyi Oladapo and Adedeji Olusegun — both inspectors — and one Uche Smart — a corporal — who were part of an anti-robbery patrol team from Igando station.

The officers were said to have demanded a bribe from Omonyahuy and Amusa, but they refused after which Oladolapo shot the two drivers.

Sadiku narrated the incidents leading up to a judgement in favour of the families of the victims, stating that the inspector-general of police (IGP) and the attorney-general of justice had to be involved when it appeared that the police in Lagos were becoming uncooperative.

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According to him, an orderly room trial was held, followed by a series of petitions and a suit filed against the “killer cop” all in the attempt to get justice for the victims.

The counsel urged Sanwo-Olu to revisit the case in order to ensure that the judgement is favour of the victims’ families is respected and the due compensation is paid.

“We continued in the pursuit of justice for the deceased men and their families in seeking civil redress. This was fruitful as the windows of justice opened in our favour on the 3rd day of May 2016, when his lordship, Honourable Justice S.A. Onigbanjo of the Lagos State High Court delivered a potent Judgement granting the Applicants their claims against the Police [as Respondents] amongst others and a Judgement sum of money,” the letter read.

“Your Excellency, quite sadly, till date the Police hierarchy has refused to obey the lawful subsisting Judgement of Court in spite of our several petitions to them on the need to do right by the victims, the hapless families deprived of their breadwinners, by God and the State Nigeria.

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“It was in the course of waiting for the elusive justice that Mr. Segun Amusa, the 3rd Applicant and Father to the late Sikiru Amusa, died.

“It is noteworthy that before his death, we caused yet another Petition to be written to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation as the Chief-Law-Officer of the Federation, to please intervene in getting the Police to pay the said Judgement sum due to these families so that the ailing man could treat himself lest he died, but all to no avail until the man eventually died of a disease that was curable if only he had the funds to access the needed medical treatment. But this is now a tale of ‘if only’. Stark reality is that Mr. Segun Amusa is dead because Justice was denied him.

“Also, the Presidency through the office of the Vice Presidency, His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), who is not only a fellow Minister in the Temple of Justice but also an advocate for human rights, was also petitioned on the matter and he formally referred the matter to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, in person of Mr. Abubakar Malami [SAN], for action but injustice still prevails.

“The accused person has not been brought to face justice and neither has the Judgement sum, a product of the extant and potent Judgement of the Court, been paid to the families of the victims!

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“In response to the prevalent protests, your Excellency did promise to set up an investigative panel to inquire into the several cases of police brutality and also went a step further promising the payment of compensation to these victims. Sequel to this, we express full confidence in the assurances given by your Excellency that your word to your people will not go unfulfilled.”

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