Group Deplores Killing of Militant Leader

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A civil society organisation, Access to Justice, has condemned the killing of Mr. Ken Niweigha, the alleged mastermind of the killings of  12 policemen in Odi, Bayelsa State in 1999 by the police.

It said the fact that only Niweigha died and no other injuries were reported on any other person, appeared incredulous, and needed to be thoroughly investigated for its truth or untruth.
In a statement signed by its Executive Director, Mr. Joseph Otteh, the organisation said it refused to accept the rationalisation for the death of Niweigha by police authorities, it is therefore asking for a credible, independent investigation into the shooting incident.
 Happening when the country was marking 10 years of democratic rule, the group said the “killing was a sad, unmistakable portrait of just how far things have changed in Nigeria ten years after the transition”. It disclosed that the account of Niweigha’s death fitted the well-known template the police often used to cover deliberate and pre-planned killings of criminal suspects, to the point, now, that anyone can almost predict the storyline before the story actually breaks.
The group argued that  the killing  sounded much like a premeditated, vengeful case of an extra-judicial killing of someone long sought after with an unremitting grouse.
It called on the President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua administration to order a full-scale probe into the killing in order to make the point that it was not an official policy of the state to exterminate criminal suspects in cold blood when apprehended. 
It also submitted that if Niweigha was responsible for the death of policemen 10 years ago, he should have been charged for the offence as time does not run against crimes of that nature.

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