The court dismissed the Federal Government’s application.
Justice Lambo Akanbi of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Wednesday rejected the stay of execution sought by the Federal Government over her February ruling.
The judge in February ruled that the government pays residents of Odi Community N37.6 billion for the invasion by Nigerian soldiers in 1999 under the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo. The government deployed the soldiers when it claimed six security operatives were killed by residents of the community.
Several Odi resident were killed and property destroyed by the soldiers.
The judge in her ruling then described the action of the government and soldiers as “genocidal.”
The Federal Government had filed an application for a stay of execution of the judgement pending the determination of the government’s appeal at the Court of Appeal. Counsels to the Ogoni opposed the application.
Mr. Akanbi dismissed the application and asked the federal government to make the payment.
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A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, will on Wednesday decide whether to grant a stay of execution on the judgement it gave earlier about Odi community in Bayelsa State.
Justice Lambo Akanbi had in February ordered the Nigerian Government to pay N37.6 billion as damages to the residents of Odi following the invasion of the community by soldiers in 1999; leading to several deaths and destruction of property.
The Federal Government has applied for stay of execution of the judgement pending its appeal at the Court of Appeal.
The government argued, among others, that should the money be paid and the appeal successful, the judgement of the appellate court would be rendered null and void.
The counsels for the Odi community argued that even if the federal government pays, and the appeal succeeds, the government has enough money and cannot be harmed by the action.
The judge, Mr. Akanbi, stood the case down till 2:00 p.m. for judgement on whether to grant the stay of execution of the judgement.