Police Brutality: Court orders FG to pay N60m to victim - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Police Brutality: Court orders FG to pay N60m to victim

The ECOWAS Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Federal Government to pay the sum of N60 million to Mr Sunday Olaniran Ayodeji, whose leg was amputated due to a gunshot by a police officer in Kaduna State.

The court, in a judgement it delivered on Monday, held that FG was responsible for the torture and injury that Mr. Ayodeji, who worked at a government hospital in Kaduna state, suffered at the hands of a trigger-happy police officer.

It noted that the victim’s possessions, including his car and the sum of N900,000, were unlawfully confiscated by the police.

Consequently, the regional court ordered FG to internally investigate the breach of Ayodeji’s fundamental human rights and accordingly prosecute the police officer that was involved.

Ayodeji’s case was handled on a pro-bono basis by the Avocats Sans Frontieres, ASF, France, otherwise known as Lawyers Without Borders, under the European Union, EU, and Agence française de Développement, AFD, funded SAFE Project.

Addressing newsmen through its Country Director, Mrs. Angela Uwandu Uzoma-Iwuchukwu, the legal body, commended the ECOWAS Court for the judgment, even as it urged FG to comply with the orders.

Mrs. Uzoma-Iwuchukwu said the organization was delighted that the judgment came on the heels of the commemoration of the 2023 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, IDSVT, “which re-emphasized the need for collaborative efforts amongst all stakeholders of the criminal justice system to establish a zero-tolerance culture to torture in Nigeria.”

“We are delighted that despite all challenges and legal hurdles faced by our legal team in pursuit of justice in this case, justice was served.

“We are optimistic that this will serve as a deterrent against the systemic use of torture in Nigeria.

“The amount awarded by the Court will not restore our client who has been permanently disabled by torture, but it has given hope to not just Mr. Ayodeji, but other torture survivors that justice is possible even against powerful governments and institutions,” she added.

The ASF France Country Director who described the judgement of the ECOWAS Court in Ayodeji’s case, as symbolic, said the organization has been supporting victims of torture in the country, since 2009.

She urged FG to promptly issue guidelines for the implementation of the Anti-Torture Act so as to ensure the speedy trial of perpetrators’ torture.

On his part, Ayodeji said he was very happy with the court judgement.

“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.

“I am very grateful to Avocats Sans Frontieres France who provided a platform for me to obtain redress.

“I am also happy for what this judgment means for me and other victims of torture in Nigeria,” he added.

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