Family of teenager allegedly killed by ‘drunken’ policeman demands N100m compensation
The family of a 19-year-old boy, Friday Arunsi, who was allegedly murdered on April 17 by a drunken police constable in Abia State on Wednesday demanded an N100 million compensation from the police authority over the incident.
In a petition filed before the Abia State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on police brutality and extrajudicial killings, the Nneibo maternal family also demanded justice for the murder of the teenager.
The family was represented by one Chief Kingsheart Ukpabi at Wednesday’s hearing.
He told the panel that the family was demanding justice and compensation for the brutal killing of their son by the policeman.
According to him, the defendant was attached to the Ohafia Divisional Police Station when the incident happened.
Ukpabi, who was led in evidence by the defence Counsel, Stanley Ofoegbu, said the deceased was the breadwinner of his family.
He said the police constable, who was reportedly drunk at the time of the incident, shot and killed the boy while he was unloading essential goods from a truck during the COVID-19 lockdown.
He said: “Three policemen were coming back from a drinking spree in their private car about eight poles away from a shop at Ebem Ohafia.
“The driver lost control, while the car veered off the road and rammed into the truck.
“The policemen quickly jumped out of their car and asked the boys to stop unloading the goods.
“While this was going on, the constable rushed to his house to pick up his rifle and immediately started shooting sporadically, hitting Friday in the process.”
Ukpabi told the panel that the deceased was rushed to a nearby hospital from where he was referred to the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia.
Friday was confirmed dead at the hospital.
The petitioner added that the boy’s corpse was deposited at the hospital’s morgue while efforts by his relatives for the police to release his body for burial had been unsuccessful.
However, the defence counsel wondered why the petitioners were still asking for justice when the suspect is being prosecuted.
He said the trigger-happy policeman has been detained at a correctional centre in Umuahia.
Ofoegbu urged the panel to grant him an adjournment to enable him to continue with the cross-examination of the witness at the next sitting.
The petitioner’s counsel, Mrs. Ngozi Ukwueni, did not oppose the application.
The Chairman of the panel, Justice Sunday Imo, adjourned the matter till December 1 for the continuation of the hearing.