Delta massacre: Court hears villagers’ N100bn go well with in opposition to Army

The Federal High Court in Warri, Delta State, on Thursday, commenced sitting on a N100bn lawsuit filed by indigenes of Okuama neighborhood in Ughelli North Local Government Area in opposition to the Nigeria Army, difficult the army invasion and destruction of the neighborhood.

The army invasion and vandalism of the Okuama neighborhood got here on the heels of the March 14, 2024 killing of 17 army officers and troopers stated to be on a peace mission following a communal conflict between Okuama and neighbouring Okoloba neighborhood within the Bomadi LGA.

The go well with, marked FHC/WR/CS/41/2024, has as plaintiffs 17 members of the Okuama neighborhood suing for themselves and on behalf of your entire neighborhood.

The plaintiffs are Victor Akemor, Madam Omotiwori Olarehor, Victor Odi, Okrika Emmanuel, Austin Eferemua, Evelyn Edjekola, Pa James Ubredu, David Oghenewede, Lucky Orode, Iwriogbo Best, Felix Orhiunu, Bernard Michael, Oghene Kobiruo, Vero joseph, Ebikawe Emmanuel, Francis Uphurie and Hon. Belvis Adogbo.

The Nigerian Army is the primary respondent within the case.

At the Thursday proceedings, the plaintiffs had been represented by their lawyer, Akροkονα Omafuaire, however there was no authorized illustration for the Army.

Omafuaire advised Justice I. M. Sani that the courtroom had jurisdiction to listen to the basic rights go well with, citing sections 36, 37, 41, 44(1), 45 and 46 of the 1999 Constitution.

The choose adjourned until June 4 for listening to.

The plaintiffs, of their 15-point prayer, need the courtroom to award of their favour in opposition to the Nigerian Army N100bn as basic damages for allegedly violating their “fundamental right to the dignity of the  human person, right to a fair hearing, right to private and family life, freedom of movement, right of choice of place of residency and right to own property.”

They alleged that the army violated their rights via the “destruction and razing down of the whole buildings in the Okuama community, leaving only the Anglian Church the Okuama Secondary School and the Aderha Primary School buildings standing.”

They additionally accused the army of “looting  our moveable properties.”

They stated the motion of the army, burning Okuama neighborhood amounted to “abuse of power to oppress, repress and subjugate the applicants and residents of the Okuama community.”

They need a courtroom declaration that “the respondent’s deployment of troops for the invasion and brutal reprisal on the applicants and residents of Okuama community over the death of 17 soldiers, which they have no hands in, without any police investigation or any public inquiry indicting them for the crime” was illegal.

The plaintiffs accused the army of “dishing out collective punishment to the community, killing, maiming, brutalising. harassing, intimidating, coercing, demolishing, destroying and razing our  properties, leaving only the Anglian Church, the Okuama Secondary School and the Aderha Primary School buildings standing.”

They stated the army invasion made them

flee “to various towns, villages, forest, bushes and creeks for safety living the life of destitute under torturous, inhuman, degrading and excruciating conditions without shelter, food, drinking water, medication, money or means of income, and clothes.”

They stated they had been uncovered to the “weather, snakes and mosquitos.”

They an order of the courtroom “compelling the respondent to stop her troops continued invasion and occupation of the Okuama community to enable the applicants and residents of the Okuama community to take back possession of their land that has been illegally and unlawfully seized and occupied by the respondent to rebuild their community.”



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