The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice has awarded the sum of N10 million in damages each to a man believed to be the oldest death row inmate in Nigeria, Abu Dennis Uluebeka and Mary Bahago over rights violation.
The panel, which was presided by Justice Gberi-be Ouattara (Cote d’Ivoire) and Justice Januaria Tavares Silva Moreira Costa (Cape Verde) as the Judge Rapporteur, held that the applicants were subjected to torture while in detention which violates Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and sections 17(2) and 36(6) of the Nigerian Constitution 1999.
The justices, however, ruled that the applicants failed to prove the relief they sought over alleged neglect of their medical needs by the federal government.
Uluebeka, 90, spent 17 years in Lagos Custodial Centre after he was convicted of murder in 2003. He was released by the Amnesty Committee prerogative of mercy of the federal government in 2019 on grounds of ill-health.
He, however, returned to the regional court demanding the sum of N50 million reparation over the long years of imprisonment under what he termed cruel, degrading and inhuman condition among others.
For her part, Bahago, 50, has spent 20 years in Custodial Centre in Suleja, Niger State, following her conviction for murder, which resulted from a fight.
The Amnesty Committee commuted her death sentence to life imprisonment.
The applications were filed on their behalf by the Centre for Peace and Conflict Management in Africa.
Reacting to the judgement, the Executive Director of CSO, Noah Ajare, called for the implementation of the decision by the Nigerian authorities.