Lagos files two suits against police over Occupy Nigeria victims

Ademola Aderinto

The Lagos State government has filed two suits against the Nigeria Police over citizens shot during the anti-fuel subsidy protests last January.

In the first suit ID/153m/2012 filed at the High Court of Lagos State on behalf of those who sustained gun shot wounds on the same day; the state prayed the court to compel the respondents to issue unreserved apologies to the applicants in two national newspapers and electronic media.

Joined in the suit were the Inspector General of Police, CSP Segun Fabunmi, and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The applicants; Chizoba Odoh, Samuel Egbujor, Abubakar Alimi, and Joy Monday; sustained various degrees of injuries after the trigger-happy Mr. Fabunmi opened fire on them.

In addition, the state asked the court to order that the sum of N100 million be awarded as damages to each of the applicants by the respondents for psychological trauma, mental and emotional torture, loss of income and employment, among others.

In the second suit ID/154m/2012; the state government prayed the court for an order for the enforcement of the fundamental right of life of Ademola Samuel Abe. 

Ademola Samuel Abe was shot on January 9 by Mr. Fabunmi, a Divisional Police Officer, during the protests.

The suit filed on behalf of Adebayo Abe, the deceased’s elder brother, asked the court to order the payment of the sum of N200 million jointly and severally against the respondents as compensation for the violation of the fundamental human right to life of Mr. Abe.

Speaking after the burial ceremony of Ademola Samuel Abe, whose remains were interred on Wednesday in Lagos; Omotola Rotimi, the Director of the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) told journalists that they would get a hearing date “very soon.”

“The Directorate of Public Prosecution will take over the criminal case, the OPD is doing the civil case on the violation of their rights,” said Mrs. Rotimi.

“It is only in the civil suit that they can get compensation in monetary terms; the criminal case is just for the person to get punishment.

“But we are asking for damages on behalf of all the victims in the state,” Mrs. Rotimi added.

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