Court fixes 26TH September, 2019 for judgment in suit brought against the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the Registered Trustees of the original inhabitants of the nigerian capital

The ECOWAS Court will on 26th September 2019 deliver judgment in a case brought by a group claiming to represent the original inhabitants of the Nigerian capital asking the Court to declare as ‘unlawful,’ a notice by the government asking the inhabitants of some villages in the capital territory to vacate their land because of an impending demolition exercise, without the payment of adequate compensation.

At the last hearing on 8th May 2019, a three member panel of the Judges of the Court, presided over by Honorable Justice Gberi-Be Ouattara had granted an oral application by the Plaintiff’s Counsel, Dr. M.N. Mohammed to strike out the names of the Ministers of the Federal Capital Territory and Justice, who were sued along with the Republic of Nigeria, not being proper parties in the suit.

The Court also granted the request by the Counsel to enter a default judgment against the Republic of Nigeria for exceeding the one month period allowed by the Court within which to lodge a defense and for not putting up an appearance in Court.

In the suit, the Registered Trustees of Original Inhabitants of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), a non-profit, non-governmental organization registered under the relevant laws of Nigeria had brought the suit on behalf of the 161 Applicants, who all are indigenes /individual inhabitants of Jikoyi/Dagbadna village in territory.

The Applicants claimed to be the original inhabitants and indigenous people of Jikoyi/Dagabadna village within the territory who have been deprived of their social, cultural, political and economic rights by the Respondents.

They averred that on the 8/12/2016, they were issued with a notice, by the 1st and 3rd Defendants giving them 48 hours to vacate their ancestral homes without due and prompt payment of compensation as required by the law.

They maintained that the action of the Defendants, if allowed to be carried out, will render hundreds of people and their families homeless as this is a gross violation of their fundamental right to property and live anywhere.

They are therefore seeking for a declaration by the Court that the quit notice for demolition issued by the Defendants on the Plaintiffs/Applicants without payment of adequate compensation to the plaintiffs for their properties/buildings worth 700 million as captured in Survey valuation carried out by Kanjumi &Samuel Report is unlawful.

They are also asking for the award of damages in the sum 2 Billion Naira from the Defendants for violation of their rights to social, economic, political and cultural rights and the payment of another 15 million naira for the cost of litigation.