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Immigration death: Lawyers sue FG, Moro, others

Minister of Interior, Abba Moro

Five civil rights lawyers under the aegis of Due Process Advocates have asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to compel the Federal Government to pay N50m general damages to each person who died during the recruitment exercise conducted by the Nigerian Immigration Service.

The plaintiffs, Charles Ugwuonye, Friday Yakson, Chinedu Onwuka and Samson Ojo, representing themselves and the group in the suit filed on Thursday, also sought an order declaring that the conduct or the execution of the NIS 2014 recruitment exercise was illegal, unwarranted, and violated the applicants’ fundamental rights to life, protection from inhuman and degrading treatment, among others.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN); Ministry of Interior, Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, NIS and the Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr. David Parradang, were joined as 2nd to 6th defendants respectively.

Another relief being sought by the group include an order declaring that the respondents, particularly Moro and Parradang owed the duty of honesty and candour to the applicants regarding the true purpose and intention behind the recruitment exercise.

While demanding an order directing the respondents to refund each applicants’ N1,000, which they paid to participate in the recruitment exercise, the plaintiffs also demanded an order directing the respondents to pay general damages in the amount of N1m to each living applicants for the violation of their rights.

Other reliefs include “an order directing the respondents to issue a written apology to the applicants, which shall be published in five Nigerian newspapers and on the main website of the NIS and which shall remain posted on the said site for three years in memory of those who died during the exercise and an order awarding N3m only to the solicitors as fees and cost of this litigation.”

According to them, the defendants had a duty to superintend the recruitment exercise “in a safe and healthy manner” with due consideration to lives and the wellbeing of those who applied for or participated in the exercise.

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