By Mukwuzi Joseph
The Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has ordered the Nigeria Police to pay N50 million compensation to the family of Daniel Chibuike-Ikeagwuchi, popularly called Sleek who was killed by policemen in the state.
Sleek was reportedly shot dead on Saturday, September 19, 2020, by a mobile police officer attached to De Topic supermarket, while he was being chased by SARS operatives.
Sleek’s family had approached the court to seek justice for their son whose life was cut short. The family had named the police; Inspector-General Ibrahim Adamu; the state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan; and two others in a suit it filed to enforce the fundamental human rights of the deceased. They prayed the court to declare the killing of their son unlawful and to award N1bn as compensation.
According to reports, the defendants neither appeared nor filed responses in two sittings. They were said to have appeared in court on the last adjourned date of November 23 when they presented a counter-affidavit that was rejected by the court.
Delivering judgement in the case on Friday, the presiding judge, Justice, S.C. Amadi, granted the four prayers of the claimant and declared that the gruesome murder of Sleek contravened the constitution of Nigeria. Justice Amadi held that the failure of the police to arraign the officers who killed Sleek was illegal and awarded N50million against the defendants.
Counsel to the family of the deceased, Noble Njoku, applauded the judge for the judgement and said it would serve as a deterrent to men of Nigerian security forces who abuse power.