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Nigerian takes Gambia to Ecowas court, seeks over D30M compensation

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By Omar Bah

Kehinde Enagameh, brother of a Nigerian who was among 58 Ecowas citizens killed in The Gambia in 2005 on the orders of former President Yaya Jammeh, has taken the government to court demanding compensation of $500, 000 (D30,750,000).

His lawyer urged the Ecowas Court to declare the actions of The Gambian government illegal and direct the government to pay $500,000 as damages for the brutal murder of the deceased (Omozernoje Paul Enagameh) as well as arrest and prosecute the former president and his accomplices for the murder.

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The deceased, Omozernoje Paul Enagameh, was among 58 Ecowas (citizens comprising Nigerians, Ghanaians, Sierra Leoneans and Togolese) immigrants sailing through Gambian waters with their international passports and other travel documents enroute to board a fishing vessel anchored on high sea to Europe, when they were arrested by agents of The Gambian Navy on July 21, 2005. Three out of the 58 escaped while the remaining 55 were stripped of their travel documents, monies and valuables before being summarily executed on the orders of Jammeh on July 22 and 23, 2005 at different locations in The Gambia.

Khinde’s lawyer has submitted to the Court the Newspaper report found on some of the dead bodies, a graphic report prepared by Nigeria’s High Commission in The Gambia and confessions by the alleged perpetrators in the report of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission.

According to the lawyer, the deceased was a victim of extrajudicial killing, claiming he was unlawfully detained and brutally murdered without trial and convicted of any offense in violation of the existing international laws.

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He argued that the deceased was legally in the Gambian territory as an Ecowas citizen and had his travelling documents with him.

According to a statement issued by the Media unit of the Community Court, the case was adjourned to 2nd March 2023 to enable the Gambia Government time to make its submissions.

At the first hearing on February 16, 2023, the presiding judge, Justice Edward Amoako Asante, adjourned for continuation of hearing after the applicant informed the court that both parties were unable to reach a settlement and his intention to proceed with the hearing of the substantive matter.

The Court also noted the absence of the respondent state – The Gambia.

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