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Published On: Sun, Jul 20th, 2014

Apo 8: NHRC rejects order against N135m judgement

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Apo 8By Edoamaowo Udeme

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to set aside its order of a stay of execution of the commission’s investigation report which awarded N135m to relatives and victims of the attack and killing of some squatters in Apo, Abuja.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole had on June 27, in his ruling on the ex parte application filed by the State Security Services (SSS), ordered a stay of execution of the report.

The judge had equally granted leave to the SSS to apply for an order of certiorari to quash the decisions and awards contained in the NHRC’s report on complaint No: C/2013/7908/HQ.

The court also granted leave to the SSS to serve the commission with the originating motion, which is the main suit.

The NHRC had, in its report released in April 2014, blamed the SSS and the Nigerian Army for the killing of eight and injuring of 11 of the squatters in an uncompleted building in September 2014.

The security forces had attacked the squatters on the allegation that they were suspected members of Boko Haram sect.

The Commission, through its counsel, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), rejected the order of a stay of execution of its investigation report on the incident, arguing among others, that the manner of commencing the suit did not comply with the law.

The first to the fourth respondents to the suit, which was instituted by the SSS for the review of the NHRC’s report of investigation are the commission’s chairman, Dr. Chidi Odinkalu, its secretary, Prof.

Bem Angwe, its other official, Saudatu Mahdi, and the NHRC itself.

Other respondents are, Global Rights, Human Rights Law Service, National Association of Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief of Army Staff and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The Commission added that the originating motion served on it and its officials were nullity as they were not certified and verified by the court Registrar, in line with Order 3 Rule 12(3) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules.

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