The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court on Monday ordered the federal government to pay N60 million to a victim of police brutality, Sunday Ayodeji.
One of Ayodeji’s legs was amputated after he was shot by a police officer in Kaduna State.
The case was handled by Avocats Sans Frontieres (ASF), an international human rights organisation, also known as Lawyers without Borders (France).
The ASF country director in Nigeria, Angela Uzoma-Iwuchukwu, who confirmed the development in a statement on Tuesday, said the court held that the Nigerian government was responsible for the victim’s torture.
The court also ordered the federal government to properly investigate the violation of Ayodeji’s rights by the police.
It equally ordered the immediate return of the victim’s seized items.
The statement read: “Avocats Sans Frontieres France commends the ECOWAS Court for its judgment on this case and urges the Nigerian government to uphold the directives of the court.
“ASF France is also delighted that this judgment is coming on the heels of the commemoration of the 2023 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, which reemphasizes the need for collaborative efforts amongst all stakeholders of the criminal justice system to establish a zero-tolerance culture to torture in Nigeria.
“We are delighted that despite all challenges and legal hurdles faced by our legal team in pursuit of justice in this case, justice was served.
“We are optimistic that this will serve as a deterrent against the systemic use of torture in Nigeria.
“The amount awarded by the court will not restore our client who has been permanently disabled by torture, but it has given hope to not just Ayodeji but other torture survivors that justice is possible even against powerful governments and institutions.
“Ending torture is a global challenge, we must all continue to work together to create a zero-tolerance culture to torture in Nigeria.”