Seven years after the infamous and gruesome murder of eight persons by the Department of State Services (DSS) in Apo area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the FGN has finally disbursed the sum of N135 million to the families and relatives of the victims of the unfortunate incident.
The disbursement was disclosed through a verified Tweet by the Government of Nigeria.
In 2018 President @MBuhari approved the payment of 135 Million Naira to the families of eight tricycle riders unlawfully killed by security agents at the Apo Legislative Quarters in September 2013. The compensation order was issued by @NhrcNigeria in 2014: https://t.co/vb3PDqCL48
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) November 3, 2020
The payment became necessary after a panel of inquiry by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on April 2014, indicted the DSS for grossly violating the rights of the victims and asked it to compensate the dead and injured victims to the tune of N135 million.
About 19 casualties were recorded in the unfortunate incident, with 8 persons reported dead, while 11 others were critically injured.
Why it matters
In the view of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, the disbursement is a gesture that confirms the present government’s commitment to upholding the rule of law, justice, and respect of human rights.
What they are saying
Commenting on the recent development, Mr. Malami said, “This gesture in no small measure has emphasized the role of the National Human Rights Commission as an independent organization with statutory duties for the promotion and protection of human rights.
“It also serves as an extra-judicial mechanism for the enhancement of the enjoyment of human rights. The commission performs its statutory functions without interference from the federal government.”
The incoming Executive Secretary of NHRC, Tony Ojukwu said, “Though it has taken four years to implement that decision of the commission, it has come to confirm the posture of the present government to respect human rights, as well as, the decisions and recommendations of the commission.
Mr. Ojukwu further added that, “All payments relating to this compensation are being made through the bank after verification of the accounts, signatures and photographs of the victims.”
What you should know
A breakdown of the payment shows that:
- N10 million each was awarded to the dead victims, totaling N80 million.
- The 11 injured victims got N5 million each, totaling N55 million.