Judgment fixed for 25 November 2019 by ECOWAS Court in case filed by children of late Nigerian transporter allegedly killed by a soldier

The ECOWAS Court will on 25th November 2019 deliver judgment in a case brought by the children of a late Nigerian transporter who was allegedly killed during sporadic shooting by 10 soldiers who invaded his compound in the Agwan Rukuba area of the country’s Plateau State.

Martha Adamu, daughter of the deceased and seven others in suit no ECW/CCJ/PP/18/18 alleged that the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria violated the right to life of their father and benefactor, Mr. Abutu Adamu, who was killed by agents of the Nigerian government.

The plaintiffs claimed that their late father was shot by a soldier, simply identified as Corporal Aminu, who was among the soldiers that invaded and shot sporadically in their compound on 26th December 2010 in violation of the rights guaranteed by international instruments.

According to documents filed before the Court, nine of the soldiers initially ran away leaving behind the alleged shooter, Corporal Aminu, to whom Martha held onto during which she read the name from the name tag but was forced to release him when his colleagues returned and brutalized her with their gun resulting in the dislocation of her shoulder.

The plaintiffs said the deceased, who was bleeding profusely, died while being taken by mobile policemen to the Jos University Teaching Hospital, where he was confirmed dead.

They averred that they lodged their complaints with relevant government agencies including the Army, Police, the State Security Service, and the National Human Rights Commission but till date no one has been prosecuted and no compensation paid to the plaintiffs.

They are seeking among others, a declaration that the shooting of their father by a personnel of the Nigerian Army, an agency of the Nigerian government was unlawful and unjustifiable and contravened the provisions of international human rights laws. They also said that the failure of the defendant to investigate and prosecute the culprit, and provide remedy for the deceased dependents was a violation of their rights.

They are equally urging the Court to direct the Defendant to pay monetary compensation to the family of the deceased in the sum of N1, 000,000,000 (One Billion Naira).

But in its defence, the Republic of Nigeria described the Applicants’ originating processes and documents attached as ‘mere speculations,’ as the narration of facts did not mention the name of any witness to the incident.

Furthermore, the government contended that ‘all the applicants’ have succeeded in doing is to bring up fictitious tales of unknown military men who killed the plaintiffs’ father.’

The government urged the court to hold that it was not in breach of the fundamental right to the deceased, dismiss the plaintiff’s action in its entirety and award costs against the plaintiffs’ on its behalf.

On the panel of judges who heard the case were Justices Dupe Atoki, Keikura Bangura and Januaria Moreira Costa.