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Delta killing: Court hears villagers’ N100bn suit against army


The Federal High Court in Warri, Delta State, began proceedings on Thursday for a N100 billion lawsuit filed by residents of Okuama community in Ughelli North Local Government Area against the Nigerian Army, contesting the military invasion and destruction of their community.

The legal action follows the tragic events of March 14, 2024, when 17 military officers and soldiers were reportedly killed during a peacekeeping mission following a communal clash between Okuama and neighboring Okoloba community in the Bomadi LGA.

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Represented by their lawyer, Akροkονα Omafuaire, the plaintiffs, consisting of 17 members of the Okuama community, appeared before Justice I. M. Sani. However, there was no legal representation present for the Army.

Omafuaire argued the court’s jurisdiction to hear the fundamental rights suit, citing relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution. Justice Sani adjourned the case until June 4 for further deliberation.

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In their 15-point prayer, the plaintiffs seek N100 billion as general damages from the Nigerian Army for alleged violations of their fundamental rights.

They accuse the military of unlawfully razing down buildings, looting properties, and subjecting residents to inhumane conditions.

According to the villagers, they had to flee “to various towns, villages, forest, bushes and creeks for safety living the life of destitute under torturous, inhuman, degrading and excruciating conditions without shelter, food, drinking water, medication, money or means of income, and clothes.”

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The plaintiffs demand a court declaration of the military’s actions as unlawful, urging the cessation of troop invasion to enable the community’s rehabilitation.