Home » Press Release » ECOWAS COURT HEARS SEVERAL CASES OF ALLEGED HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS INVOLVING NIGERIA
 
Monday, 14 November 2016 14:55

ECOWAS COURT HEARS SEVERAL CASES OF ALLEGED HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS INVOLVING NIGERIA

The Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS, on 7th of November 2016 heard 5 cases of alleged human rights violations involving the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In the case ECW/CCJ/APP/16/15 involving Noel Mian Dallo and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the plaintiff alleged the violation of his right to freedom of movement, dignity of the human person and right to own property.

Mr. Chukwukadibia Donatus, counsel to the plaintiff, claimed that Mr. Dallo was arbitrarily arrested and detained for 2 days by security agent of the defendant State in the course of investigation and manhunt for a suspected security impersonator named ‘Shola.’

The plaintiff sought a declaration from the Court stating that the actions of the defendant were arbitrary, illegal, unlawful and in violation of his fundamental rights. He also sought an injunction restraining further arrest or detention by the defendant or its agents, and payment of N150,000,000 (One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) as compensation for damages.

At the Hearing, counsel to plaintiff requested for an adjournment to enable him file his reply. Responding, lead counsel to the defendant Mrs. A. Rufai who did not opposed the plaintiff’s request however, reminded the Court that the plaintiff had also sought an adjournment at the last hearing.

Justice Chijioke Nwoke who presided over the matter fixed 8 December 2016 for definite hearing of the case. Other judges on the panel were Justice Micah Wilkins Wright and Justice Yaya Boiro.

In another case filed before the Court on 6 November 2013, the plaintiffs, Registered Trustees of Jama’a Foundation & 3 Others averred that they were victims of sustained violations of their rights to life, security, dignity of the human person and equal protection before the law.

They alleged that they, and other muslims living in Southern Kaduna area were victims of the ethno-religious crisis of 18th and 19th April 2011 that resulted in the brutal murder of over 800 indigenes and displaced about 60,000 others.

They are demanding the implementation of the Sheikh Lemu panel report as it affects the plaintiffs, and adequate monetary compensation in the amount of N105,066,204,016 (One Hundred and Five Billion, Sixty-Six Million, Two Hundred and Four Thousand, Sixteen Naira).

At the hearing, counsel to plaintiffs, Mr. Adekola Mustapha sought leave of the Court to amend the initiating application, join parties, and order the defendants to produce certain documents. The Court granted him leave to amend the initiating application but declined on his request to join parties, which the Court observed were not proper parties before it. Consequently, the plaintiffs were asked to file a fresh application and serve same on the defendant. They were also asked to produce a list of their witnesses and ensure they appear in Court at the next date for hearing fixed for 8 December 2016.

In two separate cases ECW/CCJ/APP/09/15 and ECW/CCJ/APP/10/15 involving Mr. Festus Ogwuche and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the plaintiff, a Nigerian practicing lawyer and citizen of ECOWAS, alleged violations of his fundamental human rights.

In suit number ECW/CCJ/APP/09/15, Mr. Ogwuche submitted that his law firm represented an accused person charged to the defendant’s Federal High Court in the city of Port Harcourt and that on the 1st of August, 2007, he applied to that court to withdraw representation of the accused and that the court granted same.

He claimed that he was subsequently arrested and detained, and his law practice certificate obtained as condition for bail. He sought orders for the release of the certificates and payment of N5,000,000 in reparation and exemplary damages among other reliefs.

While in ECW/CCJ/APP/10/15 Mr. Ogwuche claimed that the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) an agency of the defendant State wrote and sent a letter titled “Additional Regulation for Live Political Broadcasts” to all broadcasting firms across the defendant’s territory.

He alleged that such communication and threat to withdraw licences violates the right of freedom of press. He sought orders of the Court for withdrawal of the letter, and publication of same in national dailies.

Both cases were adjourned to 7 December 2016. On the panel for both cases were Hon. Justice Friday Chijioke Nwoke (presiding), Hon. Justice Micah Wilkins Wright, and Hon. Justice Yaya Boiro.

For further information, visit the Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS website at www.courtecowas.org or contact the Information Officers using the contact details below:
Contacts:
1. Ugoh Sunny, Head of Division,
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2. Felicien Hounkanrin (Information Officer)
Cell Phone: +234 803-786-3972
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3. Elohor Ovadje (Information Officer)
Cell Phone: +234 803-335-4281, (0)818-448-2456
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