ECOWAS Court Dismisses N84 Billion Suit Against the Federal Govt

The Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sitting at the Supreme Court of Togo, Lome has dismissed an N84 Billion suit filed against the Federal Government of Nigeria by a group known as The Registered Trustees of the Socio-Economic Rights & Accountability Project (SERAP).

The suit which was filed on behalf of the SERAP by Mr. Femi Falana, SAN essentially alleged that the Federal Government of Nigeria breached the fundamental rights of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members who unfortunately lost their lives in the post election violence that erupted in some parts of the country in 2011 and sought to hold the Federal Government responsible for the deaths.

The Plaintiff consequently sought that the Defendants respect the Fundamental Human Rights of NYSC members serving in all parts of the country, and to pay N84 Billion Naira ($500,000,000) to the families of the deceased NYSC members.

Counsel to the Federal Government of Nigeria in the matter, Dr. Fabian Ajogwu, SAN, and Mr. Ituah Imhanze of Kenna Partners applied to the Court to dismiss the Plaintiff’s action against the defendant on the grounds that the Plaintiff lacks the locus standi to institute the action.

Dr. Ajogwu further contended that the Plaintiff had failed to disclose any cause of action against the Defendant and as such, the Court lacked the Jurisdiction to hear the suit.

By a Judgment delivered by the ECOWAS Court sitting in Lome, Togo on February 13, 2014, the Learned Justices of the ECOWAS Court upheld the arguments of Dr. Ajogwu, SAN and consequently dismissed the suit and held in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

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