ENDSARS; ECOWAS Court Orders Nigerian Government to Compensate DJ Switch, Others for Rights Violations


The Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS, has mandated the Federal Government of Nigeria to pay N2 million each to Obianuju Udeh, popularly known as DJ Switch, Perpetual Kamsi, and Dabiraoluwa Adeyinka for the violation of their human rights.

In its ruling, the court found Nigeria in breach of several articles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACPHR), specifically Articles 1, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 11. These articles cover the right to life, security of person, freedom of expression, assembly and association, prohibition of torture, the duty of the state to investigate, and the right to an effective remedy.

The allegations stem from the peaceful protests against the SARS unit of the Nigerian Police Force at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos State on October 20 and 21, 2020. Udeh and others claimed that during these protests, their rights were severely violated. Despite dismissing the claim that the right to life was violated under Article 4, Judge Rapporteur Justice Koroma Sengu acknowledged the breaches of other rights.

Justice Sengu also directed the Federal Government to adhere to its obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This includes investigating and prosecuting those responsible for the violations and reporting to the court within six months on the measures taken to implement the judgment.

The Nigerian government denied all allegations, asserting that the protesters unlawfully assembled at the Lekki Toll Gate under the guise of protesting against SARS. The government claimed that its agents followed strict rules of engagement and did not harm any protesters. However, the court concluded that the government had indeed violated several articles of the ACPHR, resulting in fundamental human rights breaches.


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