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Extrajudicial killing: Vigilantes to pay N4m in Niger

A Minna High Court in Niger State has ordered the Commander of the Niger State Vigilante Corps, Pandogari, in Rafi LGA of the state and…

A Minna High Court in Niger State has ordered the Commander of the Niger State Vigilante Corps, Pandogari, in Rafi LGA of the state and two others to pay N4 million compensation to one Awwal Ibrahim for attempting to execute him on suspicion that he was an informant to bandits.

Justice Maimuna A. Abubakar held that the vigilantes had no constitutional power to investigate or execute a suspect without resorting to police and the court of law.

She said based on the evidences presented before the court by the applicant, which were not opposed, the defendants were found guilty of abuse of power by attempting to kill, therefore grossly violating the fundamental human rights and freedom of movement of the plaintiff which caused him psychological trauma due to fear, humiliation and threat.

Justice Maimuna further ordered that a public apology be published in two national newspapers for the gross breach of the applicant’s fundamental rights as enshrined in the constitution.

She also ordered that a letter of undertaking be written by the vigilantes to the Rafi LGA that they would not abuse their powers or engage in any act or executing any accused without making recourse to the police and the court of law.

The plaintiff’s counsel, Abdulmumin Jibril, earlier told the court that on April 26, 2022, at about 5pm the respondents invaded his client’s shop on Pandogari-Alawa road and took him to the outskirts of the town after he was beaten with sticks, guns and cutlasses and threatened to kill him after they asked him of his tribe and he told them he was Fulani on suspicion that he was an informant to bandits.