ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- A High Court sitting in Enugu State has declared the alleged killing of late Philip Okoro as unlawful and wicked, adding that it violates the deceased’s fundamental rights to life and dignity of human person.
The deceased was shot to death on 29 July, 2022 by trigger-happy agents of Uzo-Uwani Council led by Barrister Chijioke Ezugwu, which incident caused outrage and violent protests in the community.
He was killed by one Barrister Chijioke Ezugwu, the Chief Security Officer of Uzo-Uwani Local Council and his vigilante men.
Okoro hailed from Umuobira Village, Nkpologu in Uzo-Uwani Local Council of Enugu State.
The father of the deceased Mr. Pius Okoro, had approached the court seeking enforcement of the latter’s fundamental rights to life and dignity following the unfortunate shooting and killing.
Delivering judgment, the judge, Justice M. A. Onuoha agreed with the Applicant’s Counsel that the killing of the deceased was unlawful, extrajudicial and contrary to sections 33, 34 and 37 of the 1999 Constitution, Articles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 12) of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The court also condemned the reckless and mindless action of the vigilante men, which led to the untimely death of young Philip Okoro.
The judge held further that the courts must rise against impunity and recklessness of trigger happy security officers employed to bear arms and protect citizens.
The court therefore awarded and ordered the Chairman of Uzo-Uwani LGC, Uzo-Uwani Local Council counsel and Barrister Chijioke Ezugwu to jointly and severally pay to the family of the deceased the sum of N20, 000,000 only as compensation.
Reacting to the judgment, Counsel to the applicant, V. N. Ayogu, described the judgment as sound and well researched judgment anchored on sound principles of law and judicial reasoning.
He commended the court for rising to the occasion in defence of the constitutionally protected rights of the deceased, stating that the decision will go a long way to assuage the loss of the family.