The ECOWAS Court of Justice, Abuja on June 10, ordered the Nigerian government to pay $70,000 in damages for violations of human rights to peaceful assembly and association and freedom from forced evictions.
The court ruled that the FG failed to investigate and prosecute members of the security forces who killed and injured protesters in Bundu Waterfront community, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, thereby violating their right to protest.
The judgment was gladly welcomed by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP. “This judgment shows that there is punishment for the government when it allows its security forces to use excessive force against peaceful protesters, and unlawfully drive them away from their homes, with tragic consequences for citizens and communities. That was the case here,” SERAP said in a statement it issued hailing the judgement.
SERAP stated that, “As the rulings of the ECOWAS court are binding, the Nigerian government will be under pressure to implement this judgment and align its policing practices with international human rights standards.”
The group also accused President Goodluck Jonathan of being responsible for what it described as persistent infringement of the human rights and prolonged sufferings of the residents of Bundu Waterfront Community, Port Harcourt.
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