Sunday, July 21, 2024

Kaduna Bombing: Falana threatens FG over failure to compensate victims

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has issued a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to compensate those who have fallen victims to military air strikes in the country in the past seven years.

Falana, who gave the condition in a statement on Sunday, said the Federal Government risked being sued before a Federal High Court if the demand is not met.

“The Federal Government should pay adequate compensation to the victims of all airstrikes that have occurred in Nigeria in the past seven years.

“If our demand is not met within the next two weeks, we shall sue the Federal Government at the Federal High Court to secure the enforcement of the fundamental right of the victims to life,” he said.

The Nigeria Air Force and Nigeria Army have between March 2014 and December 2023 dropped bombs which claimed the lives of hundreds in some states in the northern part of the country, according Falana.

In the most recent incident, no fewer than 80 people were killed in an erroneous air strike by the Nigerian Army at Tudun Biri in the Igabi Local Government of Kaduna State on December 3, 2023.

Falana, who is the Chairman of Alliance on Surviving Covid 19 and Beyond (ASCAB), lamented that there has been no compensation for the victims of these bombings over the years.

He noted that after January 17 Rann bombing in Borno, the Federal Government instituted a commission of enquiry headed by Justice Biobell Georgewill of the Court of Appeal, but said that nothing has come out of it up until now.

“The Commission was mandated to review extant rules of engagement applicable in the armed forces of Nigeria as well as the extent of compliance with the rules. Part of the mandate of the commission was to also prefer means of preventing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

“The Commission was given 90 days for the assessment. Our law firm represented the victims of the Rann airstrike at the Commission of Enquiry. Upon the conclusion of the assignment, the Commission submitted its report. But up until now, the federal government has neither published the report nor implemented the recommendations of the Commission.”

The Senior Advocate suggested that instead of setting up a new panel of enquiry, the Federal Government should publish the findings of the Georgewill Judicial Commission.

Mana Balagbogbo
Mana Balagbogbo
Broadcast Journalist with LN247 (Everything Politics).

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