It was a pitiable sight at the Anambra State High Court complex in Awka Thursday, as members of the family of the late Onyeka Agupugo from Agulu in Anaocha local government area of Anambra State, who was murdered by the police at a check point in Agulu on Agust 11, 2010, wept uncontrollably when a High Court Judge dismissed the case of the murder for lack of merit.
Onyeka, 29, who was a building contractor before his death, was riding on a motorcycle with another person when the police accosted them at the popular Nwagu junction in Agulu only for one of the policemen to fire at him on the chest following a minor argument over how much to part with.
Onyeka’s wife, Chinenye, who was four months pregnant when the husband was murdered and her mother in-law, Mrs. Florence Agupugo, caused a stir at the court premises by shedding tears and wailing, and it took the intervention of their relations who accompanied them to court to calm them down. They had gone to court to enforce the fundamental right of their husband and son.
Against their expectation, however, the presiding judge, Justice C.A. Emembolu, in dismissing the matter brought to court by Chinenye and her mother in- law, held that ‘the right to life dies when the owner dies.’
Chinenye, who told Saturday Vanguard that the child she put to bed after the death of her husband is one year and four months at present, said her worry is that she has nobody to take care of her and the child, since her late husband was the breadwinner of the family.
Amidst sobs she said: “After the death of my husband, the police promised to come to our aide, but up till now, nothing has been done. Rather, they are in court defending the person who killed my husband and on top of that the Judge has dismissed the matter. I am confused and this judgment has brought back the memories of what I went through immediately I was informed of the death of my husband.
“Some people are treating this matter as if it was a fowl that was killed, forgetting that it was a full fledged human being who had family and other relations to cater for.
“We had gone to court hoping that court would prevail on the police to pay compensation to the family, but here we are going home dejected. Our lawyer has told us that he will appeal the judgment and we are giving him the go ahead.