Lagos court re-opens Ekwulobia Four vs Police case


Justice Olufunke Sule-Amzat of a Lagos High Court sitting in Yaba will today reopen the case of the extrajudicial killing of four Ladipo Market youths killed by the police on July 1, 2001, in Surulere, Lagos.

The victims were indigenes of Ekwulobia, Anambra State.

The Appeal Court in Lagos had ordered for a retrial of the matter following an appeal filed against the ruling of a lower court, which struck out the case.

The case, which was known as the Ekwulobia Four, was first heard by Justice Oyindamola Ogala of an Igbosere High Court.

It was brought before the court by Akaraka Ezeonara, Chris Okpara, Remigus Ezenwane and Ifeanyi Okoye on behalf of the slain youths.

The first to sixth defendants are the Inspector General of Police, Attorney General of the Federation, Attorney General of Lagos State, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Chief Marvelous Akpoyibo, then of Area C Police Command, Surulere, and the Divisional Police Officer, Surulere, were listed as the respondents.

The applicants had sought a declaration that the killing of the youths was unconstitutional, extrajudicial, illegal.

The Appeal Court set aside the ruling of the lower court, arguing that “no man’s life ought to be taken arbitrarily and this basic right was given the status of a fundamental right by its entrenchment in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.”

The upper court therefore ordered a retrial of the matter by the lower court.

The slain youths Anthony Ezenwafor, Chukwuemeka Ezeofor, Izuchukwu Ezeama and Aloysius Osigwe, who were traders at the Ladipo Market, were killed by the police attached to Area C Police Command on July 21, 2001 at their Surulere residence on allegations they were working as armed robbers for their boss.

However, investigation by the police did not find any evidence to support the allegation.

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