By Lukman Olabiyi 

Justice Martha Onuoha of the Enugu State High Court, has declared that  the killing of Philip Okoro of Umuobira village, Nkpologu in Uzo-Uwani Local Government was unlawful and barbaric.

Okoro was allegedly killed by  Chijioke Ezugwu, the Chief Security Officer of Uzo-Uwani LGA,and his vigilante men.

The court said the killing was  unlawful, barbaric, wicked, callous, reprehensible, and violates the deceased’s fundamental rights to life and dignity of human being.

Mr. Pius Okoro, the father of Philip Okoro (the deceased) had approached the Court, seeking enforcement of the latter’s fundamental rights to life and dignity following the unfortunate  shooting and killing of the deceased on  July 29, 2022 by trigger happy agents of Uzo-Uwani LGA led by  Ezugwu which incident caused outrage and violent protests in the Community.

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Delivering the Judgment, the trial judge  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 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 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 condemned in the strongest of terms the reckless and mindless action of the vigilante men which led to the untimely death of young Philip Okoro, holding 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 Executive Chairman of Uzo-Uwani LGA, the LGA and  Ezugwu to jointly and severally pay to the family of the deceased the sum of N20,000,000  only as compensation.