The Federal High Court, Abuja, has dominated in favour of six girls who had been harassed and abused throughout raids by the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, the police and different safety brokers carried out in April 2019.
SaharaReporters learnt that the six girls; Deji Ajare, Moji Ogunlana-Nkanga, Bamidele Jacobs, Jennifer Ogbogu, Miriam Orika, Chigoziem Onugha and Augusta Yaakugh, via their attorneys on the Sterling Law Centre, filed public curiosity fits looking for to implement their elementary human rights to non-public liberty and freedom of motion.
After over two years of trial, Justice Evelyn Maha of the Federal High Court in her judgment on August 5, 2021, held that the arrest of the candidates with out trigger, the beating, molestation and dehumanising remedy and the detention of the candidates was a violation of the candidates’ rights as assured beneath the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The decide additionally awarded between N2million to N4million in damages towards The Abuja Environmental Protection Board, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Inspector General of Police and Inspector Thomas Nzemekwe AKA ‘Yellow’ in favour of the six candidates.
The court docket held that the sixth respondent, the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, was presumptuous in its function and acted extremely vires, past its scope and powers relating to the raids.
The court docket additionally Issued an injunction restraining the Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and different listed respondents from arresting girls in such circumstances and in a fashion that discriminates on the idea of gender.
A mob of over 100 male state actors had on April 26, 2019 invaded golf equipment, motels, supermarkets and different centres of enterprise in Abuja to spherical up girls beneath the guise of arresting intercourse employees.
It was alleged that the invasion was commissioned by Hajiya Safiya Umar, the Acting Secretary Social Development Secretariat of the FCT, a girl saddled with defending individuals inside the FCT, notably girls and youngsters.
The unlucky occasion, a recurring decimal for girls within the FCT, turned often known as the “Abuja Raids.”
The girls, focused due to their gender, had suffered sexual violations, bodily and psychological torture whereas in detention at Utako Police Station.
“History has as soon as extra been made in Abuja within the landmark court docket judgements on the infamous raids of girls and ladies within the streets of Abuja by the Abuja Environmental Protection Board and different regulation enforcement brokers.’ He highlighted that the landmark judgements have ‘vindicated the position of civil society groups and the Commission,” Tony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission said.
Ojukwu added that the judgement will serve as a wakeup call for law enforcement agents to desist from further inhuman raids and activities in such a way that violates the human rights of citizens – as such will be resisted and challenged in the courts of the land.
“Freedom of movement is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and can only be restricted in exceptional circumstances clearly defined by law. The court’s declaration that the actions of the AEPB, was illegal and had abrogated powers to itself and acted past its transient beneath its establishing Act is poignant. Significantly, the court docket made an order of perpetual injunction towards the AEPB and different respondents from additional finishing up raids with out an order of a court docket,” he added.
Similarly, Dr Ivana Radacic a member of the Working Group on Discrimination towards Women and Girls hailed the choice of the Federal Court.