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ECOWAS COURT AWARD DAMAGES AGAINST FG OVER ILLEGAL DETENTION OF GERMAN NATIONAL

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice in Abuja has ordered the Federal Republic of Nigeria to pay more than fifty three million naira to a German national, Martin Gegenheimer as a compensation for his unlawful arrest and detention by the Nigeria Immigration Service.

The Applicants, which also included SAT Swiss Aviation Nigeria Ltd, the company that invited Gegenheimer to Nigeria, are contending that the German legally entered the country for business purposes, but was wrongfully arrested and detained while on his way back to Kenya resulting in the violation of his rights to fair hearing and  freedom of movement.

While delivering judgment in the suit, a panel of three judges headed by Justice Edward Asante also ordered the government to pay another 10 million naira as general damages reparation for all violations and moral prejudice suffered for the violation of his rights as well as another 10, 000 dollars being the expenditure incurred by the applicant to secure his bail.

The Court, however, said that it found no evidence of the violation of the plaintiff’s right to freedom from torture.

The court further ordered the immediate and unconditional release of his German passport which was  seized by the government as well as his removal from the government’s watch list.

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