ABUJA (Sundiata Post) It is unbelievable that in less than one year after Danjuma Ibrahim, a key accused in the killing of five Igbo traders and a woman, was acquitted by the court, he has been promoted twice up to the rank of an Assistant Inspector-General of Police. He has been decorated by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris in his new rank.
What is he being promoted for? For being enmeshed in that sordid story of killing innocent, young Nigerians at their bloom?
From the case built by the prosecution during the trail, Ibrahim was at the centre of the alleged killing. Two policemen who were convicted in the trial all pointed to him as the man who ordered the killing. But the court presided by Justice Ishaq Bello found enough lacuna in the prosecution case to let Ibrahim go scot free.
After such a serious case, which has occasioned a serious dent on the image of the police as an institution, the least I thought would be for the police to retire him and let him be. In the cases I followed in other climes, I have not seen or heard of any where an officer who was acquitted from such high profile murder case was speedily reintegrated and given double promotion.
Think of the case of the Michael Brown who was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson after a struggle in Ferguson, Mo, in the United States, whose case sparked wide protests across the United States. A grand jury decided not to indict Wilson on Nov. 24, 2014, sparking angry protests. After a grand jury cleared Wilson, he wanted to rejoin Ferguson’s police force but was told that might put other officers at risk.
Wilson case was not as serious as this where Danjuma was the alleged chief motivator of the murder of six innocent young Nigerians. Since the Court in its infinite wisdom acquitted him, we are constrained to agree with the position of the court. But for the Nigerian police authorities to keep him in the force and give him double promotion to the elevated rank of AIG within one year is to say the least horrendous. It smacks of gross insensitivity to the feeling of the people of Nigerians, especially the people from the area the deceased young men and women hailed from.
Lets you have forgotten,
Danjuma was the one who allegedly ordered the killing of six young Nigerians, five traders and a woman, Ekene Isaac Mgbe, Ifeanyin Ozor, Chinedu Meniru, Paulinus Ogbonna and Anthony and Augustina Arebu.
According to the story, as recounted by the prosecution in the case, these young people were murdered in cold blood because DCP Danjuma Ibrahim was turned down by Augustina Arebu, when he made romantic advances to her at a night club. A disagreement ensued between the men and DCP Danjuma Ibrahim.
DCP Danjuma Ibrahim left the night club to a nearby police checkpoint and told the police men on duty that there were armed robbers in the area.
When the young men and the lady (now popularly referred to as the APO6) drove to the checkpoint, DCP Danjuma Ibrahim it was blocked them with his vehicle and ordered the junior police officers on duty to open fire on them. The police men on duty obeyed and 4 of the APO6 were killed on the spot. The remaining two, the lady and one of the 5 young men , were killed the following day.
What happened afterwards was a concerted and brazen effort by the police to cover up the crime. First, the police planted weapons in the car of the APO6 and brought a photographer to take picture, which they distributed to newsmen claiming that the innocent traders were armed robbers.
At the panel of inquiry set up by the then president Olusegun Obasanjo, the police men who took part in the killing all confessed their role. They told the panel that it was DCP Danjuma Ibrahim who ordered them to shoot the victims.
The govt panel recommended that 5 police officers including DCP Danjuma and the DPO of APO police station,Othman Abdulsalami who supplied the weapon planted in the car of the traders, , should stand trial.
However, during the panel hearing a police man, Anthony Edem, who had earlier testified against the police and was scheduled to testify again on the next date died the night after going out to drink with some of his fellow policemen. An autopsy report from Abuja national hospital found out that he was poisoned. None of the police men he went out with were investigated.
In a cell inside the police headquarters (Edet House), where the APO DPO, Othman, was kept pending his day in court, he left his cell one morning purportedly to go pray and simply ‘disappeared’. He has not been brought to trial.
The lady, Augustina Arebu, whose rejection of Danjuma’s sexual advances was the reason for the fiendish act, allegedly was personally strangled to death by DCP Danjuma Ibrahim. These are the facts as established at the trial.