By Sampson Boroh
Timade Emmanuel, a dismissed police sergeant, has been sentenced to death by hanging for killing a 19-year-old undergraduate of the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Tarila Nikade.
Tarila was gruesomely murdered in 2019 by the convict along Tenacious Road in Akenfa Yenagoa Local Government of Bayelsa State.
The policeman was dismissed from service following a petition from the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and public out cry by the Bayelsa State Police Command after he was found guilty during a Room Trial.
However, after two years of legal tussle, Justice M.A. Ayemieye of Bayelsa State High Court 11, Yenagoa, convicted the Emmanuel for the crime and ordered that he should die by hanging.
Justice Ayemieye’s ruling came after listening to three witnesses called by the Human Rights Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Sagbama, on the two-count charge of conspiracy to commit murder and murder brought against the Police sergeant.
The judge in his ruling agreed that evidences showed that the deceased was shot in the back in cold blood and convicted the former police officer for extrajudicial killing.
Meanwhile, members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Sagbama chapter, have expressed relief over the ruling.
Speaking on the judgement, NBA National Public Interest Litigation Committee, Wisdom Meni Adike also known as Junior Gani, said the prosecution of the killer policeman lasted for two years.
He alleged that there attempts by some senior police officers from the State Police Command to frustrate the prosecution and subsequent conviction of Mr. Emmanuel by the court.
Adike recalled that in 2019, the Human Right Committee of NBA Sagbama through its then chairman, Dise Sheila Ogbosere and the incumbent Chairman, George Ebinyo Aderigha, took over the case to ensure that justice was served.
According to him, ”We immediately went to the scene of the crime. The NBA Sagbama Branch conducted high level investigation. Which the death of Tarila Nikade created a loud outcry from the general public.
“The investigation of the murder of Tarila Nikade, was filled with lots of issues including that of conflict of interest where the NBA Sagbama had to fight out with the Nigerian Police Force.
“The officer Timade Emmanuel was immediately tried in Orderly Room trial by the Nigerian Police Force and later found guilty and dismissed. We later dragged him to court for murder.
“At a point, NBA case file was almost hijacked but we insisted on getting copies of all the case files with the police. We also took all the witnesses into protective custody over allege threats by friends of culpable policeman. They had no choice but to cooperate with us.
“Autopsy and witnesses’ accounts showed he was shot in the back. The deceased boy was a 4.42 CGPA student who was learning barbing during holiday before he was shot dead in cold blood.”
Adike expressed deep satisfaction with the judgement, stressing that the verdict is a victory to all who worked for the attainment of justice during the legal battle.
“We are satisfied. We commend the State Ministry of Justice and its Counsel who took charge of the matter, the Legal Adviser of NBA, Sagbama (now the Chairman of NBA Sagbama), George Ebinyo Aderigha Esq. and the Nikade family for standing strong in the midst of tribulations.
“Finally, it is a duty we owe ourselves to see that justice in our society, checks and balances is maintained”, he added.