Nigeria: ECOWAS court orders FG to pay N60 million to gunshot victim
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria
The ECOWAS Court has granted N60 million harms against the Central Administration of Nigeria to Sunday Ayodeji whose leg was removed following a gunfire by a cop in Kaduna State.
The Court also directed the Nigerian government to conduct an internal investigation into Ayodeji’s violation of human rights.
In its ruling on July 10, 2023, the ECOWAS Court found that the victim had been tortured by the Nigerian government.
An international human rights organization known as Avocats Sans Frontieres France, also known as Lawyers Without Borders (France), was said to have handled the case for free under the SAFE Project, which was funded by the European Union and the Agence Française de Développement and aimed to end human rights violations like torture, extrajudicial killings, and arbitrary detention in Nigeria.
Angela Uwandu Uzoma-Iwuchukwu, the Country Director of ASF France in Nigeria, stated in a statement on Tuesday that the same officer unlawfully confiscated Ayodeji’s assets, which included a car and N900,000.
She claims that the victim of the torture was given N60 million and ordered to return his confiscated possessions right away.
Uzoma-Iwuchukwu said, “Avocats Sans Frontieres France praises the ECOWAS Court for its judgment on this case and inclinations the Nigerian Government to maintain the mandates of the Court. ASF France is also happy that this decision was made after the 2023 International Day to Support Torture Victims, which emphasizes the importance of working together with all criminal justice system stakeholders to create a zero-tolerance culture for torture in Nigeria.
“We are pleased that justice was served in this case despite all challenges and legal obstacles faced by our legal team in pursuit of justice. We are hopeful that this will act as a deterrent against Nigeria’s widespread use of torture. The sum granted by the Court won’t reestablish our client who has been forever incapacitated by torment, yet it has given desire to Ayodeji as well as other torment survivors that equity is conceivable even against strong legislatures and establishments.
“We accept this representative case has added to the improvement of the statute of the provincial court on torment and we keep on remaining in fortitude with all casualties of torment and reemphasize the way that torment stays an unspeakable atrocity everywhere.
It is essential to keep in mind that torture has no place in today’s world because it aims to destroy the victim’s personality and dignity. We must continue to collaborate to establish a culture of zero tolerance for torture in Nigeria because ending torture is a global challenge.
Ayodeji stated, “My joy knows no bounds, and I feel fulfilled and relieved from the inner pain that I have carried for so long due to the great injustice done to me which led to the loss of my leg,” in response to the verdict handed down by the court. I’m extremely thankful to Avocats Sans Frontieres France who gave a stage to me to get change. Additionally, I am pleased with the implications of this verdict for me and other Nigerian torture victims.