Sunday Ayodeji, a victim of police violence, has been awarded N60 million from the Nigerian government by the court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The victim was tortured, the court ruled on July 10, and the Federal Government (FG) was culpable.

The court also instructed FG to conduct a thorough investigation into Ayodeji’s allegations of human rights abuse.

Ayodeji lost a limb after being shot by a police officer in Kaduna state, as far as we can tell.

Avocats Sans Frontieres (ASF), also known as Lawyers without Borders (France), is an international human rights organization that took on the pro bono case.

In a statement released on Tuesday, ASF national director in Nigeria Angela Uzoma-Iwuchukwu elaborated on Ayodeji’s plight, explaining that the same police officer had illegally seized Ayodeji’s property, which included a car and N900,000.

Uzoma-Iwuchukwu reported that, in addition to the N60 million in damages, the ECOWAS court had also ordered the immediate restitution of the victim’s confiscated belongings.

“Avocats Without Borders France applauds the ECOWAS Court for its ruling in this matter and calls on the government of Nigeria to implement the court’s recommendations.

“ASF France is also pleased that this judgment follows the 2023 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, which reemphasizes the need for coordinated efforts by all actors in Nigeria’s criminal justice system to create a culture of zero tolerance for torture.

We are overjoyed that justice was done in this matter, despite the many difficulties and legal roadblocks our legal team had to overcome.

We hope this would discourage widespread torture in Nigeria and have an impact.

Ayodeji and other torture survivors now have hope that justice may be achieved even against powerful governments and organizations, even though the amount awarded by the court would not restore our client who has been permanently handicapped by torture.

Uzoma-Iwuchukwu remarked, “Zero tolerance for torture in Nigeria is a must.” “Ending torture is a global challenge,” she added.

Ayodeji said, “My joy knows no bounds, and I feel fulfilled, and I am relieved from the inner pain that I have carried for so long due to the great injustice done to me which resulted in the loss of my leg.”

Thanks to Avocats Without Borders France, I was able to seek justice for my situation. I’m relieved because of what this ruling signifies for myself and other torture victims in Nigeria.

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