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Rights Violations: ECOWAS Court Orders FG To Pay ₦2m Each To DJ Switch, Two Others



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The Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS, has ordered the Federal Government to pay Obianuju Udeh, popularly known as DJ Switch, Perpetual Kamsi and Dabiraoluwa Adeyinka, ₦2 million each for violation of their rights.

The court found Nigeria in breach of Articles 1, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, specifically on the right to life, security of person, freedom of expression, assembly and association, prohibition of torture, the duty of the state to investigate, and the right to effective remedy.

Udeh and others alleged that these violations occurred during the peaceful protests against the SARS unit of the Nigerian Police Force at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos State on October 20 and 21, 2020.

The judge rapporteur, Justice Koroma Sengu, who delivered the judgment, however, dismissed the allegation that the right to life as guaranteed under article 4 of the ACPHR is violated.

Additionally, he said the Federal Government must adhere to its obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, investigate and prosecute its agents responsible for these violations, and report to the court within six months on the measures taken to implement this judgment.

Though the respondent denied all claims made by the applicants, asserting that the protesters unlawfully assembled at the Lekki toll gate on October 20, 2020, under the guise of protesting against SARS, the court held that the respondent breached several articles of the ACPHR which occasioned fundamental breaches of human rights violation therein.