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 ECOWAS COURT ADJOURNS TILL 29TH NOVEMBER HEARING IN CASE BROUGHT BY FAMILY OF DECEASED POLITICIAN ALLEGING ABDUCTION AND MURDER AGAINST THE NIGERIAN POLICE


The ECOWAS Court of Justice has fixed 29th November 2017 to hear the statement of defence of the counsel to the Federal Republic of Nigeria Mr. Michael C. Abu in a case brought by the family of a deceased politician, Kyase Chia alleging the violation of his right to life and dignity by the Nigerian police.


This followed his alleged abduction on 14th August 2015 by officers of the Nigerian police during which he was shot and later died.


At the resumed hearing of the suit on 16th of October 2017, the lead counsel to the plaintiffs, Professor Agboji Madaki filed an application indicating his readiness to call for oral evidence from all the witnesses and claimants who were in Court.


The request was granted by the three member panel of the judges, presided over by Justice Friday Chijioke Nwoke enabling the lawyer to call the first, second and third witnesses.


In her evidence in chief, the first witness, Mrs .Dorcas Ebere Atu, sister to the deceased, alleged that the police planned to surreptitiously  bury the corpse of the late brother after arresting him but subsequently denied knowledge of his arrest and where about.


But for a Good Samaritan who informed her that her brother had been killed and is in the mortuary, she averred that the police would have gone ahead to secretly bury him.


This was corroborated by the second witness, Tarzaa Shiorbo who reported seeing the late brother being bundled into a Hilux van by policemen who then shot him twice on the back and front of his chest, while the third witness, Mrs. Nweche Chia, wife of the deceased, confirmed the existence of an autopsy report on the husband.


Cross examining the witnesses, counsel to the Defendant, Mr. Micheal Abu alluded to a police report before him where the deceased was alleged to be a notorious criminal who is on the wanted list of security operatives and sought to know if they are aware of it.


Earlier, the Applicant’s counsel, Mr. Amaechi A. Chukwuma had asked for time to file his response to the Defendants application, which was filled out of time while  the Defendants Counsel Mr.T.D. Agbe requested the Court to grant him time to respond to the Applicant`s reply which was only served on him that morning.


In Suit no: ECW/CCJ/APP/29/15, the four wives and children of the late politician, are claiming 500 million naira in compensation for the ‘physical assault and gruesome murder,’ of Mr. Chia, who was allegedly abducted near, Makurdi,  Capital of the country’s Benue State by officers of the Police led by one Inspector Benjamin Yankyaa.


They also asked the Court to order the Nigerian government to pay another N1, 000,000,000 (One Billion Naira) as compensation for the loss of the sole sponsor of their education to ameliorate their suffering and guarantee their education.


The Applicants, who filed the suit on behalf of themselves and the nine children listed in the suit, claimed that the action of the Police violated the deceased’s rights to life and dignity and the right of the children to education.


Also on the panel are Honorable Justices, Micah Wilkins Wright and Alioune Sall