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ECOWAS Court orders FG to compensate DJ Switch and others for rights violations

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The Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS, has mandated the Federal Government of Nigeria to compensate Obianuju Udeh, popularly known as DJ Switch, along with Perpetual Kamsi and Dabiraoluwa Adeyinka, N2 million each for violations 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.

These articles pertain to 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.

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

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

Despite the respondent’s denial of all claims, asserting that the protesters unlawfully assembled at the Lekki Toll Gate under the guise of protesting against SARS, the court held that the respondent breached several articles of the ACPHR, leading to fundamental human rights violations.

This judgment underscores the importance of accountability and adherence to human rights standards, marking a significant step in addressing the grievances stemming from the #EndSARS protests.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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