Aluu Four: Police Sergeant, 2 Others Sentenced To Death


….Court blames Army, Police for deaths

Justice Letam Nyordee of a Rivers state High court Monday convicted and sentenced to death an Ex-Police Sergeant, Lucky Orji and two others for the murder of four undergraduate students of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) at Aluu, a university village in Ikwerre Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, in October 5, 2012.

The NATION reports that other persons sentenced to death alongside Sergeant Orji are David Chinasa Obada and Ikechukwu L. Amadi (a.K.a. Kapoo).

Abiodun Yusuf, Joshua Egbe, Cyril Abam and John Ayuu (a.k.a Jonny Barbar) were discharged and acquitted.

The court said the prosecution failed to establish beyond all reasonable doubt a case of murder of the victims against them.

Ugonna Obuzor (19), Tekena Elkanah (23), Lloyd Toku Mike (22), and Chiadika Biringa(23) were paraded naked and later lynched by a pull of water beside a waste dump at Umokiri in Aluu community. They were accused of stealing laptop and mobile handset; an allegation the court had since absolved them of.

Twelve persons, including the Paramount Ruler of the community Alhaji, Hassan Welewa and a retired Police sergeant Orji were being tried for the murder of the four youths.

Alhji Welewa and four others were charged for negligence with felony to prevent murder. They were granted bail in 2015 and later discharged and acquitted, January, 2017.

In the judgement that lasted for almost three hours, Justice Nyordee condemned the murder of the youths and blamed it mostly on the failure of the security agencies in the state, especially the Police and the Army in carrying out their constitutional responsibility, for which they are claiming big salaries.

The judge regretted that not more security officers were charged in the case.

Convicting the trio he said, “The murder of the four victims on October 5, 2012 at Umokiri is unjustified, uncalled for as unsatisfying that there several actions there are together with others at large was only intended to cause the death accordingly, I hereby find each of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants guilty of the offence in respects to counts one, two and four of the information filed and therefore convict each of them accordingly in line with the provision of section 319 of the criminal code Cap 11, of Laws of rivers state, 1999.”

Further in his sentencing the court regretted that several factors including gross negligence of men of the Joint Task Force (JTF), and Police, and ignorance of the societal roles led to the deaths of the boys apart from the actions of the persons convicted, stressing that if the JTF and the Police patrol team as well as the C4i team had rescued the victims the death would not have occurred.

“The death of the four victims in one whole act of the convicts and others at large cannot be justified. We are talking about the death of young people full of life who were great hope for their families and society at large. The candles of their lives were abruptly and undeservedly and without a single thought lit out with mere breath against all societal expectations.

“Their deaths and the hopes of their families and society and families at large are irreparable that is why we deemed it fit to invoke the maximum of criminal Act in the case of prove murder which the court has sincerely unfolded.

“Let me use this opportunity to say that what resulted to the unfortunate deaths of the victims in this case, is a combination of several unfortunate factors, including the ignorance of societal role in the preservation of communal lives, the shameful failure of security institutions…, that several security outfits around the vicinity of the scene of the murder of the four young men in this state was enough to guarantee their safety if they were committed to exhibit promptness to professional and lawful duties of protecting life and property.

“No explanation can ever be seen or taken as reason why the security teams in the area such as the police patrol team from Isiokpor division, the JTF, the c4i and the Aluu police post that were all armed at least minimally could not mobilize either individually or jointly to rescue the youths whose allegation that they were robbers could not be substantiated.

“The deaths of these bright young men in the circumstance given shows how cheap human life is, even when compared to mere animals. It is also surprising to know why police officers who are claiming heavily in their official duties to protect the lives in this state are not apprehended and sanctioned with criminal charge in a situation as grievous as this. It is still the sorry state of the affairs of the society,” he concluded.

The judge continued, “’the conviction and sentence to the maximum tense will teach all men that human life is sacred, and should be respected and protected as the commanded by God the sole owner of life.

“The case of the convicts is one of the deterrents to all other men to treat human life with utmost care respect, accordingly the convicts deserve a maximum of the following, “I hereby sentence Ex-sergeant lucky Orji to deaths for the murder of the victims in this case, I also hereby sentence Ikechukwu Lois Amadi to deaths of the victims in this case, I also sentence David Chinasa Obada for the murder of the same victims, may all the convicts herein receive the Mercy of the creator of all lives, and May the Lord show you Mercy, that is the sentence,” he concluded.

In their reactions, the father of one of the victims, Mike Toku Mike, Lloyed’s father, a broadcaster, “I am partially happy that the garment of robbery, criminality has been pulled off from the four young men that were murdered in Aluu. It is crystal clear that the boys were innocent; they did not steal or robbed, but only went to the place to demand the money they were owed and they were falsely tagged and killed.

“However, I would have been happier if the seven of them were convicted and sentenced, but the law did not see it like that but only three were sentenced, it is ok.

“I thank God that after the trauma we went through, and the case lingering for so long a time, it is now over, that makes me happy.”

In the same vain, the state Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Ibikiri Otoribio, who led team of state counsel to prosecute the case expressed satisfaction on the judgement, “justice has been done, we are satisfied.”

Asked what will happen to those suspects that are still at large especially one Bright, who was the actual person that tagged the victims armed robbers and raised the alarm that led to their lynching, now that the case has been concluded and they are not yet apprehended, challenged the police to do their job by ensuring that he is smoked out and arrested. He assured the public that anytime he was arrested, they would open case against him.

“It is left to the Police to do their duty, they should go on to investigate the matter, it’s not totally over yet, anytime those of them still at large are apprehended, there is no time limit in capital offences, we will come up and prosecute,” he stressed.


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