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Killing of four Ladipo boys: Court hears N4b suit against Police, others October 21

By Yetunde Ayobami Ojo
12 October 2022   |   4:02 am
Justice O. Sule-Amzat of a Lagos High Court, sitting in Yaba, has fixed October 21, for definite hearing of a suit filed by a human rights activist, Mr. Akaraka Chinwe Ezeonara, for alleged police killing of four Ladipo market traders.

A gavel is seen in a courtroom in this file photo. (PHOTO: iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Justice O. Sule-Amzat of a Lagos High Court, sitting in Yaba, has fixed October 21, for definite hearing of a suit filed by a human rights activist, Mr. Akaraka Chinwe Ezeonara, for alleged police killing of four Ladipo market traders.

The plaintiffs:  Ezeonara; Chris Okpara; Remigus Ezenwane and Ifeanyi Okoye had on March 27, 2014, instituted a N4 billion fundamental rights enforcement suit against Inspector-General of Police (IGP), a former Lagos Commissioner of Police and Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Marvelous Akpoyibo (retired), Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Attorney-General of Lagos State, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State and Divisional Police Officer, Aguda  for alleged extra-judicial killing of four Ladipo market traders.

The traders: Anthony Ezenwafor, Chukwuemeka Ezeofor, Izuchukwu Ezeama, and Aloysius Osigwe were allegedly killed by the police on July 21, 2001.

At the resumed hearing of the case, the claimants’ counsel, Modupe Omo-Ekpadi from Falana and Falana Chambers, informed the court that all the respondents have been served the hearing notice, but expressed surprise that they were not in court.

The judge had sometime in June ordered that hearing notice be issued to the Nigeria Police and other respondents, before fixing September 27 for hearing, but the matter could not go on due to  the new legal year activities.

Following the absence of all the respondents’ counsel in court, Justice Sule- Amzat, ordered that definite hearing notice be issued to them and subsequently adjourned to October 31, 2022.

Recall that the case file was returned from the Court of Appeal for High Court to hear the suit denovo (afresh)

The appellate court had ordered in a judgment that the High Court should hear the suit following the dismissal of the suit by Justice Oyindamola Ogala.

Justice Ogala had in a ruling dismissed the application on the ground that the applicants can not commence the suit on behalf of the deceased persons.

Dissatisfied with the ruling, applicants through their counsel, Mrs. Funmi Falana filed an appeal.

The Court of Appeal in a judgment held that, it is clear that the action before the lower court was properly commenced under the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules because it was brought by an association for the purpose of enforcing the rights of its members that had been breached.