Nigerian Army To Pay Family In Imo N200m For Extra Judicial Killing

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The suit by Chigbu Family of Ngor Okpala, filed by Tobechi Chigbu against the Nigerian Army to enforce the payment of Two Hundred Million Naira damages for the extra judicial killing of a family member, Late Noel Ezeribe Chigbu which happened on 30th April 2021 was given a hearing today at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Road, Owerri.

Addressing the press at the court premises, One of the lead counsel for the Chigbu Family,  Barrister Chizoba Iheka  said that they were at the Federal High Court  to enforce the judgement to suit number FHC/OW/CS/69/21 filed by Tobechi Chigbu against Chief of Defence Staff and three others and to enforce payment of the damages to the family of the victim who was killed by  soldiers on 30th April 2021 when he closed from his shawarma and barbeque fish spot at 8pm  at Orlu Road, Owerri.

After closing for the day, he headed home but was carelessly shot and killed by the trigger happy killer soldiers, unprovoked. One of the soldiers, Burna Kennedy, a Staff Sergeant, posted to Artillery Bridge Obinze Owerri claimed that the deceased refused to stop in his Toyota Camry car at an army checkpoint which made them to fire some shots at him and two bullets hit the back of his head and killed him instantly.

The Counsel explained that judgement was given in favor of the victim’s family by the court against the Nigerian Army  on 12/5/2022 with  damages of two hundred million naira to be paid to the victim’s family. He further explained that the victim’s wife was pregnant for their last daughter when he was killed by the soldier.

Expectedly, that mindless action has put the family into untold excruciating hardship as the victim is the bread winner of the family. He lamented that more than five months  the judgement was passed against the army, authorities ,they  have not done anything in respect to the court judgement by paying the damages to the family. Instead, they Nigerian Army went ahead to file and abandon an appeal to the judgement.

In his own words, the counsel told the press that they have been receiving threats and warning, asking them to drop the case, but noted that those threats won’t stop them from getting justice for the victim and his family adding that as a lawyer, no threat can deter him / them  from pursuit of Justice of this matter. He also used that opportunity to advise all law enforcement agents and the general public to desist from extra judicial killing as the law will do everything possible to bring any offender or perpetrator to book.

He prayed the court to grant the application brought by the counsel to deceased family against the Nigerian Army Bank accounts in fulfillment of the Judgment debt to the family to help them face the harsh reality of the absence of the bread winner who was untimely killed by the trigger happy soldiers.

Effort by our reporters to get the side of the Nigerian Army proved abortive as they declined comments.