Family of slain police officer sues Army, demands N300m compensation

THE family of a slain police officer, Orukpe Monday, killed by soldiers in Lagos State, has dragged the Nigerian Army to court for extra-judicial killing.

Monday, an inspector, died in August 2022 after he and his colleagues were allegedly tortured by a group of angry soldiers at the Trade Fair area of Lagos State.

The soldiers, said to be travelling to the Ojo Military Cantonment, had an argument with police operatives who were coordinating traffic on the highway.


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The argument sparked a fight between the policemen and the soldiers who overpowered them and bundled two officers, including Monday, to their barracks.

One policeman was able to flee the scene after struggling with the soldiers with his gun and shooting in the air.

Monday died at the military hospital due to injuries he sustained from the assault by the soldiers.

Two autopsies carried out on the deceased revealed that he died of assault, multiple injuries and blunt force trauma.

The autopsies were conducted by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and the Nigerian Army Cantonment Medical Centre, Ojo.

The autopsy from LASUTH, signed on October 27 by a doctor, O.O. Onayemi of the Department of Pathology and Forensics, revealed that multiple injuries and blunt force trauma caused Monday’s death.

The Nigerian Army’s autopsy report signed by I. Agueze revealed that the primary cause of death was assault, while the secondary cause was a head injury.

Monday’s family is now seeking justice and compensation from the Nigerian Army.

In a suit filed by human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Femi Falana, on Thursday, May 25, the deceased’s wife, Favour Monday, is seeking a N300 million compensation for her late husband.

Parties in the suit include the Chief of Army Staff Faruk Yahaya and 10 officers of the Nigerian Army.

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Falana, in the suit, stated that the late police officer’s fundamental rights, including the right to life, dignity of the human person, private and family life, and presumption of innocence, as guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, were grossly violated.

He argued that the extra-judicial killing perpetrated by the soldiers of the Nigerian Army violated Monday’s rights.

In the same vein, he asked the court to declare the torture and extra-judicial killing of the police officer as illegal and unlawful.

“We graciously pray my Lord to so hold and grant the reliefs as sought in the statement accompanying this application. On the whole, we urge your Lordship to find that this application has merit and in finding as such make the declarations and orders sought herein,” parts of the suit read.

“The applicant is a Nigerian, a resident of Otta in Ogun State and the wife of Inspector Orukpe Monday, who was gruesomely murdered by the agents of the first respondent.

“The deceased, Inspector Monday was an Inspector of the police with the Trade Fair Police Divisional Headquarters of the Lagos State Police Command, murdered on August 3, 2022, along Lagos/Badagry Expressway, Lagos while carrying out his official duties as a police officer.

“The deceased, Inspector Monday was entitled to his right to life, dignity of his person, fair hearing and presumption of innocence guaranteed by Sections 33, 34 and 36 (1) and (5) of Nigeria (As Amended) and Articles 4, 5 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (CAP A10) LFN 2004.

“The extra-judicial killing of the applicant’s husband, Inspector Monday by armed agents of the first respondent at the Lagos/Badagry Expressway of Lagos State on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, violates the deceased’s fundamental right to life guaranteed by Section 33 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) 1999 (As Amended) and Article 4 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights.

“The brutalisation and indiscriminate killing of the applicant’s husband, Inspector Monday by the respondents at the Lagos/Badagry Expressway of Lagos State on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, is wrongful, oppressive, illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void as it violates the deceased’s fundamental right to the dignity of the human person.




     

     

    “The extra-judicial murder of the applicant’s husband, Inspector Monday by the respondents at the Lagos/Badagry Expressway of Lagos State on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, is wrongful, oppressive, illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void as it violates the deceased’s fundamental right to fair hearing and presumption of innocence.”

    The senior lawyer asked the court to make an order compelling the respondents to pay a total sum of N300 million as compensation.

    The N300 million include the establishment a special education fund of not less than N100 million to cater for the educational needs of the deceased’s children from primary school up to the university of their choices.

    It also include N200 million as general and aggravated damages for the illegal violation of Monday’s fundamental rights.

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