Court Awards N50m Damages Against the Nigerian Army for Murder of Otunba Ajayi Oladele

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The Federal High Court sitting in Warri has awarded damages in the sum of N50m against the Nigerian Army in a Suit with No. HHC/WR/CS/93/2017 between Mrs. Esther Oladele & Ors vs. The Nigerian Army & Ors.

The fundamental right enforcement suit filed pro bono by Mr. Kunle Edun on behalf of the the widow and the infant children of late Otunba Ajayi, the Plaintiffs sought an Order of the Honourable Court declaring the detention and death of the deceased by the Defendants as a violation of his right to life, liberty and freedom of movement and consequently damages in the sum of N50m.

The Plaintiffs’ case was that officers of the Nigerian Army were contracted by a businessman to recover debt allegedly owed by the late Otunba Ajayi. The deceased was arrested in Warri by soldiers from the Army Brigade in Benin city. The deceased was beaten and had his spinal chord broken by the soldiers during the beating. The soldiers had to rush him to the military hospital in Benin and called his wife, the 1st Plaintiff, to make arrangement to take her husband home. The late Otunba died few minutes after the soldiers dropped him on the floor of the emergency room of the Central Hospital, Warri.

In a judgment delivered on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 by Honourable Justice Emeka Nwite, the Court held that detention and death of late Otunba Ajayi was a violation of his right to life, liberty and freedom of movement.

The court consequently awarded damages in the sum of N50m and cost of the action at N100,000.

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CTC of Judgment attached

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