Apo 6 Killings: Accused Absent In Court


The failure of the Nigerian Prison Service to produce four of the six persons standing trial over the killing of six Apo traders in 2005, stalled the accelerated hearing of the case on Tuesday.

The four policemen are Nicholas Zacharia, Emmanuel Baba, Sadiq Salami and Emmanuel Acehenje.

The other two policemen are DCP Danjuma Ibrahim, who is on bail and Othman Abdulsalami, is at large.

The six policemen are alleged to have killed Ifeanyi Ozo, Chinedu Menriu, Isaac Ekene, Paulinus Ogbonna, Anthony Nwokike and Tina Arebun while they were returning home from a night-out.

The deceased were aged between 21 and 25.

Justice Ishaq Bello, who adjourned the matter to February 8, said the accused must be produced in court on the adjourned date.

Bello, who had earlier stood down the matter from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., for the prison authorities in Kuje to bring the accused to court, did not hide his anger for the non appearance of the accused.

The prosecution counsel, Mr. Mammam Usman (SAN), told the court that when he contacted the prison authorities earlier, he was told that the “Black Maria” conveying the four accused persons left Kuje about two hours before the court started sitting.

“We are surprised ourselves that up till now, they have not reached the court premises from the Kuje Area Council.

“I have been trying the line of the officer in charge but there seems to be no reply again.”

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He said the prosecution was ready to continue with its case but prayed for the case to be stood down.

The judge warned the prosecution to ensure that the accused were brought to court unfailingly on February 8.

“I am disgusted at this attitude. I cleared my court list for accelerated hearing of this matter, and here we are again the matter cannot continue.

“It is the duty of the prosecution to ensure that any accused person is promptly brought to court whenever a matter is to go on.

“I am giving an order that the prosecution and the Nigerian Prison Service must unfailingly produce the accused persons on Wednesday, February 8, at 9 a.m.,” he said.

NAN recalls that this is the second time in less than eight days the trial of the six policemen accused of the killings of the Apo six will suffer a setback.

On February 1, at the resumed hearing of the case before Justice Bello, prosecution counsel, Mr. Kanayo Okafor, had told the court that Ibrahim’s counsel, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN), had written a letter asking for an adjournment.

Okafor had said that Ibrahim and his counsel were stalling the proceedings by their constant application for adjournment.

The judge granted the application for adjournment, and said then, that it would be the last to be granted.

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