Se­nate probes re­in­state­ment of po­lice of­fi­cer in­dicted in Apo killing

• Reps ask army to drop lo­cal lan­guage pol­icy

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - FRONT PAGE - From Adamu Abuh and Az­i­mazi Mo­moh Ji­moh, Abuja

THE Se­nate yes­ter­day re­solved to in­ves­ti­gate the re­cent re­in­state­ment of a deputy po­lice com­mis­sioner, Mr. Dan­juma Ibrahim, who was in­dicted by a ju­di­cial panel of in­quiry that probed the killing of five Igbo traders and a young lady in the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory, Abuja in 2005.

The panel was set up by the then Pres­i­dent Olusegun Obasanjo.

The Se­nate took the de­ci­sion af­ter adopt­ing a point of or­der raised by Sonni Og­buoji (PDP, Ebonyi South). He drew the at­ten­tion of the cham­ber to the re­in­state­ment of the ear­lier suspended po­lice of­fi­cer who was ac­quit­ted in March this year by the FCT High Court judge, Ishaq Bello.

Og­buoji ex­pressed se­ri­ous con­cerns that the same court sen­tenced two po­lice of­fi­cers who op­er­ated un­der the di­rec­tive of Ibrahim to kill the young traders but ac­quit­ted their mas­ter.

He urged the se­nate to look into the case, say­ing it was wor­ri­some that the Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (PSC) ex­on­er­ated and re­in­stated the leader of the team that ac­tu­ally com­mit­ted the mur­der while his sub­or­di­nates were se­verely pun­ished.

He said: “It was an in­ci­dent that led to the death of six young peo­ple, five of them males and one a fe­male at a po­lice check­point. The then Pres­i­dent Obasanjo set up a ju­di­cial panel of in­quiry be­cause the po­lice re­port was unac- cept­able to him when they in­sisted that those young peo­ple were armed rob­bers. And in the ju­di­cial panel of in­quiry, some po­lice of­fi­cers were found to have killed th­ese young peo­ple.

“So, they were taken to court by the state. The com­man­der of that par­tic­u­lar po­lice unit, one Dan­juma Ibrahim, as we speak to­day, has been re­in­stated by the po­lice. Also, one of them, Oth­man Ab­dul­salami, till to­day is still at large. But the court on the 12th of last month sen­tenced two of the po­lice­men to death for mur­der.

“One is wor­ried that the com­man­der of the pa­trol unit that killed what is now known as Apo six has been re­in­stated by the po­lice whereas the po­lice have found oth­ers who were un­der his com­mand cul­pa­ble.”

The Pres­i­dent of the Se­nate, Bukola Saraki, asked Og­buoji to bring a for­mal pe­ti­tion on the mat­ter so that it would be re­ferred to the com­mit­tee on ethics, priv­i­leges and pub­lic pe­ti­tions.

Mean­while, the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives has en­joined the Nige­ria Army to stop the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pol­icy seek­ing to com­pel its per­son­nel who are non- speak­ers of the three ma­jor Nige­rian lan­guages, Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo, to learn them within the next one year.

Adopt­ing a mo­tion jointly spon­sored by Abiante Awaji-in­ombek Dagomie and Douye Diri dur­ing ple­nary ses­sion presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Su­lai­mon Yus­suff La­sun, the law­mak­ers de­scribed the pol­icy as dis­crim­i­na­tory and in­im­i­cal to the co­he­sion in the army.

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