COURT ORDERS FG TO PAY $3.5MIL TO FAMILIES & VICTIMS OF THOSE KILLED IN ABUJA

The West African court yesterday  ordered Nigeria to pay $3.25 million in compensation to families and victims for the extrajudicial killings of eight civilians and the injuring of 11 others shot by soldiers and secret service agents in Abuja.

The court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said there is no evidence to back the stance of the Nigerian army and Department of Security Services that troops fired in self-defense on an alleged group of Boko Haram extremists the night of Sept. 20, 2013.

The three-judge panel led by Judge Friday Chijioke Nwoke found the Nigerian state liable for the “barbaric, illegal and unconstitutional” deaths and injuries. It ordered the government to pay $200,000 to the families of each man killed and $150,000 to each of those injured.

Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission investigated the shootings and also ordered the government to pay victims compensation.

The victims in the Apo suburb of Abuja were squatting in an unfinished building. At the time, the military did not respond to media reports suggesting the raid was requested by a retired army officer who owned the building and wanted the squatters out.

The court case was brought up by a nonprofit organisation representing the victims