Court refuses to quash Ken Saro Wiwa’s judgement

Ken Saro-Wiwa, one of nine Ogoni community activists executed after an unfair trial in 1995.
Ken Saro-Wiwa, one of nine Ogoni community activists executed after an unfair trial in 1995.

The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has struck out an application which had sought to quash the judgment of tribunal and eventual execution of environmental rights activist Ken Saro Wiwa in November 1995.

Justice Lima Abdullahi struck out the application filed by Ken Saro Wiwa Associates in Port Harcourt on Friday.

He said the Decree that established the Special Tribunal on Civil Disturbances, including that of Ogoni, did not make provision for appeal.

According to him, those sentenced to death or long term imprisonment had no opportunity to appeal against such judgment.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that three member Ogoni Civil Disturbances Special Tribunal found Mr. Wiwa, an environmentalist, and eight others guilty of murder and subsequently hanged.

The judge said the applicant, Ken Saro Wiwa Associates, did not state its interest, the relationship with the deceased persons or the damages or injuries it suffered by their death.

He said the applicant’s lawyer only attached a certified copy of the tribunal’s judgment without other documents relating to applicant’s relationship, interest and injuries suffered by the execution of the nine persons.

Mr. Abdullahi also noted that the counsel did not also attach the record of the tribunal’s proceeding.

Golden Awi, counsel to the applicant had argued that the tribunal was not properly constituted, saying it had three instead of five members as required by the 1999 Constitution.

Mr. Awi told reporters that the applicants did not ask for compensation, rather the group wanted the tribunal’s judgment to be quashed.

He added that the associates wanted the judgment to be reviewed and said the group was heading for the Supreme Court.

Gani Topba, National Coordinator of the associates, said the execution of Mr. Wiwa was not only a great loss to Ogoni, but also to the Niger Delta.

Mr. Wiwa and eight others were executed in November 1995.


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