22nd July, 2023
By Ibrahim Bello
The Court of Appeal has upheld judgment ordering the Nigeria Customs Service to pay compensation of N100 million as compensation to the family of one Abdulrahman Sani who was killed by its operatives in Kebbi State on November, 2020.
Sani was killed on Nov. 10, 2020 on his way to his farm along Bunza-Kamba road in Fingilla village of Dandi Local Government Area of the state when he was unlawfully killed by the personnel of the NCS who were on patrol in the area.
The family had gone to court after the killing of Abdulrahman on Nov. 10, 2020.
Justice Babagana Ashigar of Federal High Court sitting in Birnin Kebbi, on May 25, 2022, ordered the NCS to pay N100 million as compensation to the family of the deceased.
The NCS however went to the Appeal Court, Sokoto Division, asking the court to set aside the judgment.
The panel of appeal court judges, led by Justice Muhammad Maiwada on Friday, upheld the earlier ruling of the Federal High Court.
The court said that the killing of Abdulrahman was unlawful and a violation of the deceased fundamental right to life guaranteed under Section 33 Subsection 1 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.
It ordered the respondents to issue public apology in a written form to the applicant for the violation of the deceased fundamental right to life.
The appellate court also ordered the respondents to pay the sum of N100 million as damages for the violation of the decease’s fundamental right to life.
It however declined to award cost of litigation against the respondents.
Malam Muhammad Sani, father to the deceased lauded Appeal Court for upholding an earlier ruling which ordered N100 million compensation to the family.
Sani told newsmen in Birnin Kebbi that he was happy with the ruling.
“Alhamdulillahi, I am happy as a father; and the two wives and five children of the decease are also happy with the judgment upholding the earlier ruling of the Federal High Court today.
“We commend the Nigerian judicial system, the judges and lawyers who contributed immensely towards ensuring justice is served, and protect the vulnerable and poor people like us.”
Sani recalled that the decease was on his way to farm when the incident happened in 2020.
“My son was on his way to farm on Nov. 10, 2020, along Bunza-Kamba road in Fingilla village of Dandi Local Government Area of the state when he was unlawfully killed by the personnel of the NCS who were on patrol,” he recalled.
Also, Counsel to the family of the deceased, Umar Aminu-Kalgo, said justice has been served.