In the wake of the protests against Police brutality themed #EndSARS, the families of six young Nigerians, often referred to as Apo Six, killed unlawfully 15 years ago by the police in the nation’s capital, Abuja, have said they want the case revisited.
The incident claiming the lives of Ifeanyi Ozor, Chinedu Meniru, Augustina Arebu, Anthony Nwokike, Paulinus Ogbonna, and Ekene Isaac Mgbe took place on June 7, 2005 at Gimbiya street, Area 11 in Abuja.
The families of the victims saw the latest outcry against police brutality as an opportunity to reignite their quest for justice.
Elvis Ozor, the younger brother to one of the victims, Ifeanyi, said: “Once again, we will intensify efforts to get justice for our loved ones especially now that cases of police brutality and extra-judicial killings is on the front burner."
He said the families are filing a fresh complaint to the human rights commission for the Apo Six case to revisited.
He said they are also appealing for them to be duly compensated since the court declared their loved ones innocent.
Every year on June 7, they gather at the Gimbiya junction, the exact spot their loved ones were gunned down in cold blood to remember the deceased who were mostly the breadwinners of their families.
Ozor said he felt “cold” after a friend said he saw Ibrahim hale and hearty at Banex plaza in Abuja about a month ago.
He said: “I can’t believe he walks free after all he has done…”
Danjuma Ibrahim, who is not a member of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), was widely accused of vicious killings and endless police brutalities.
He is the police official, (a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) at the time) who ordered the shooting of a man, his fiancé and four of his friends 15 years ago.
Danjuma, on the night of the incident allegedly sent policemen to the victims after his love advances on Augustina, the only female among them, were rebuffed.
The police had claimed that the victims, aged between 21 and 25 years, were members of an armed robbery gang that had opened fire on the officers when accosted at a checkpoint.
But a judicial panel of inquiry set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo found the police account to be false and recommended the trial of six officers involved for extra-judicial killings.
Mr Ibrahim and five other officers, Othman Abdulsalami, Nicholas Zakaria, Ezekiel Acheneje, Baba Emmanuel, and Sadiq Salami were indicted.
Twelve years later on March 9, 2017, after a protracted case, the FCT High Court presiding judge, Ishaq Bello pronounced the six victims, innocent.
He convicted and sentenced two officers to death but said there was not enough evidence to convict Mr Danjuma and two others. One other officer remains at large.
The families of the victims, who saw the judgement as the height of injustice, have been trying to appeal but their efforts have been frustrated by the justice ministry.