ABUJA—Four survivors of the recent recruitment exercise of the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, that resulted in the death of eighteen persons nationwide, yesterday, dragged the Federal Government to court.
In an originating summons they entered before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, the plaintiffs, Charles Ugwuonye, Friday Danlami, Chinedu Onwuka and Samson Ojo urged the court to declare that the conduct of the recruitment exercise was illegal, unwarranted and amounted to a gross violation of the applicants’ fundamental rights to life.
Those they prayed the court to summon before it yesterday included the Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, Nigerian Immigration Service and its Comptroller General, Mr. David Shikfu Parradang.
The plaintiffs, who filed the matter on behalf of themselves and other applicants that participated in the NIS ‘killer job’, urged the high court to restrain the NIS from spending the money realised from the recruitment exercise.
Besides, in the case which they entered under sections 33, 34 and 44 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and the equivalent articles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right Act, the plaintiffs, equally want the court to order the respondents to refund the recruitment money back to the applicants, as well as, pay the sum of N1million to each applicant that took part in the unfortunate exercise.
More so, the plaintiffs, prayed the court to award the sum of N50m to families of the deceased applicants as general damages and also declare that the federal government, violated the applicants right to protection from inhuman and degrading treatment, right to dignity of the human person, right against discrimination on the basis of the circumstances of birth, and right against unlawful taking of the property of a person; under Sections 33, 34, 42 and 44 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
Moreover, the plaintiffs, prayed the court for an order declaring that the respondents, particularly the Minister of Interior and Comptroller General of the NIS, owed the duty of honesty and candor to the applicants regarding the true purpose and intention behind the recruitment exercise.
They further sought a declaration that the respondents, particularly the Minister of Interior and the Controller General of the NIS, had a duty to superintend the recruitment exercise in a safe and healthy manner with due consideration to lives and well being of those who applied for or participated in the exercise.
“An order declaring that the Nigerian Immigration 2014 Recruitment Exercise was carried out in a manner that was motivated by greed and corrupt intentions and without any realistic plan to offer the applicants employments.
“An order declaring that the respondents do not have the power to appropriate any funds raised by them from the recruitment exercise, even if not otherwise illegal, but must remit such funds to the Federation Account”.
The applicants further want the court to grant an order of interim injunction restraining the respondents from spending any of the funds raised from the exercise and an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from spending any of the funds raised from the recruitment exercise.
Likewise, to direct the respondents to refund each applicant the sum of N1,000 which he or she paid to participate in the recruitment exercise and also an order directing the respondents to pay general damages in the amount of N1m to each living applicant for the violation of their rights.
In addition, they prayed the court to make 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 by the 5th respondent and which shall remain posted on the said site for three years in memory of those who died during the recruitment exercise. The case has not been assigned to any judge for hearing.
Meanwhile, Niger State government has said that the corpse of one of the prospective applicants who died at the Minna centre during the recruitment exercise stampede is yet to be claimed at the Minna General hospital mortuary. The deceased has been identified as Ibrahim Isah Mohammed.
Secretary to the Niger state government, Alhaji Isah Ndako who made this known when Minister of State on Agriculture, Hajiya Asabe Asmau Ahmed paid a condolence visit to the state also said that the name of the other deceased identified to be a female could not be ascertained because she was not registered at the hospital when she was brought. He, however, said that steps have been taken by the state government to locate the family for proper documentation.
Alhaji Ndako confirmed that a female and a male died in the stampede while 14 people were injured, adding that from the official report sent to the state government from office of the immigration in the state, over 14,000 persons reported for the exercise.