In mid-2005, six Apo traders (including a fiancée of one) who were returning home from a night club were gunned down at Gimbiya Street junction in Area 11, Garki, FCT Abuja, by policemen. The dead were Ifeanyi Ozo, Chinedu Meniru, Isaac Ekene, Paulinus Ogbonna, Anthony Nwokike and Ms Augustina Arebun.
The suspected murderers were deputy commissioner of police Danjuma Ibrahim, Othman Abdusalami, Sadiq Salami, Ezekiel Acheneche and Emmanuel Baba who were charged with conspiracy and culpable homicide.
The suspects had claimed that the victims were armed robbers who opened fire first.
Popularly known as “Apo 6”, the trial has been going on since 2005. Public outcry forced former President Olusegun Obasanjo to constitute an official panel of inquiry to ascertain the remote and immediately causes of the incident. The police authorities tried to cover it up.
This Thursday, March 9, a high court presided over by Justice Ishaq Bello ruled that two of the five policemen should die.
Awaiting the hangman are Ezekiel Acheneche and Emmanuel Baba. Others were discharged.
The court held that that the action of the convicted men was condemnable because there was no evidence that the young traders did anything to constitute a threat to the police at the time they were shot dead.
Many are not satisfied with the judgement, however, wondering why all the five accused were not sentenced to death. The case may now move to the appeal court and perhaps Supreme Court also.