Court orders Police, DSS to pay N150m damages over death of aide to Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer
A federal high court in Anambra has ordered the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Department of State Services (DSS) to pay N150 million in restitution for the death of Samuel Okoro, personal assistant to Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer.
The presiding judge, Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, issued the order on October 27 while delivering judgment in a suit filed by Felicia Okoro, the deceased’s wife, against the NPF, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), and the DSS.
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The director-general of the DSS, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigerian army, the chief of army staff, and one Chukwuka Chizorom Ofoegbu are among the other defendants.
At around 2:30 a.m. on June 6, joint security operatives stormed Ejiofor’s home in Umunakwa Ifite, Oraifite, Ekwusigo LGA of Anambra state.
Okoro was murdered, while Ejiofor’s elder brother and three domestic staff were kidnapped.
Okoro’s body was allegedly placed inside Ejiofor’s burning car.
CCTV footage of the invasion was presented as evidence in court.
The judge declared the invasion illegal, unlawful, oppressive, and inhumane while delivering the ruling, noting that it violated Okoro’s fundamental right to life.
“Before I conclude, I would like to state that after viewing the CCTV footage, EXHIBIT A,” the judge said, “I ran out of words to express my feelings about what I saw.”
I couldn’t believe what I witnessed was done by humans like us and the applicant. It was tragic and unbelievable. They not only took the laws into their own hands but also acted as if they were God, the creator of life, including the applicant’s late husband, Mr Samuel Okoro.
“First and foremost, nothing was shown as to why the applicant’s late husband’s principal’s house was invaded and why the applicant’s husband was brutally murdered in cold blood and then burned.”
“Even if he had committed murder, the respondents went too far by seizing control of the law.”
“The applicant and her son have been subjected to unspeakable hardship, depression, and trauma on mental, psychological, and social levels.”
The applicant’s late husband was the sole provider for his elderly parents. The children have lost their father, which will undoubtedly affect their academic pursuits as they look to their mother and God for success in life.
“Once again, the applicant’s husband was killed as a result of overzealous officers’ actions, who in my opinion are callous-hearted human beings.” They are not supposed to serve or be given responsibilities. May the departed’s soul rest in perfect peace, Amen.
“No amount of money can bring him back to life, and the loss or injury he sustained cannot be repaired forever.” It’s truly tragic and unfortunate. They should be held accountable.”
The judge ordered the police, DSS, army, and Chizorom to publicly apologise to the applicant (Felicia Okoro) in one national and domestic newspaper.
The court also ordered them to pay N100 million in general damages and another N50 million in compensation to Okoro for her husband’s death.
The court also ordered the NPF, DSS, Nigerian army, and Chizorom to pay the applicant five million nairas in legal fees.