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Apo Six: A case of justice delayed

For the six hapless traders extrajudicially killed by the police in 2005, the path to justice was long and tortuous. After what seemed like an eternity, a long-drawn-out legal battle came to an end recently. Justice Ishaq Bello of an Abuja High Court on March 9 returned a guilty verdict on two of the six people arraigned for the crime. While sentencing the two to death, he ordered that three others be set free, but kept mum about another, now at large.

In a country where extrajudicial killings by security men are commonplace, and verdicts such as this are few and far between, many would have thought that Bello’s judgement would be hailed as courageous and refreshingly different.  But it is a judgement that is already generating controversy; it has failed to fully assuage the feelings of the victims’ relations, some of whom have already taken to the streets in peaceful demonstrations, insisting that the judge did not go far enough.

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