The Federal Government on Thursday paid the sum of N135m as compensation for the killing of eight persons and the injury caused 11 others during a raid of an uncompleted building in Apo/Gudu district of Abuja by men of the Department of State Service and the Nigerian Army in September 2013.
This came over four years after the National Human Rights Commission made the recommendations to the Federal Government on April 7, 2014.
The commission had, through its three-man panel headed by its then chairman, Chidi Odinkalu, on April 7, 2014, following an inquiry into the incident, held the Federal Government responsible for the death of eight of the victims and the injuries suffered by 11 others.
The commission then recommended that the Federal Government pay the families of the deceased and the injured victims the total sum of N135m.
The commission recommended that the Federal Government pay the families of the eight deceased the sum of N10m each and the 11 injured victims N5m each.
Acting on the NHRC’s recommendations made four years ago, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), presided over a brief ceremony of the official presentation of the cheque to the representatives of the victims at his office in Abuja on Thursday.
The victims, aged between 18 and 25 at the time of the incident on September 20, 2013, were said to be members of the Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association in Abuja.
They were said to be squatters in an uncompleted building in the Apo/Gudu district of Abuja, where they were attacked by the security agents who were on a mission searching for Boko Haram members.
Speaking shortly before the cheque presentation, the AGF confirmed that the payment of the N135m award would start on Thursday.
He said, “I am glad to inform you that the National Human Rights Commission has received the payment from the Department of State Services and the process of payment of the monies to the beneficiaries starts today,” Malami said.