The Economic Community of West African States Court of justice sitting in Abuja has awarded a fine of eighteen million naira against Nigerian government for violating the human rights of three of its citizens in 2011. The three citizens, Dorothy Njamenze, a popular actress Justina Etim and Amarachi Jessyford are to be paid the sum of six million naira each by the Federal Government for their unlawful arrest, detention and declaration as prostitutes in Abuja.
Delivering a judgment in the suit instituted against the Nigerian government at the ECOWAS court, Justice Friday Nwoke ordered the Federal Government to pay the sum of eighteen million naira to three ladies as compensation for humiliation and inhuman treatment they suffered during their arbitrary arrest and proclamation as prostitute. Justice Nwoke held that the Nigerian government was liable for the arbitrary arrest and detention of the plaintiffs carried out by a military operatives, police and officials of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board who claimed to be acting on the directive of the Federal Government.
The judge held that the government’s pronouncement in declaring the three ladies commercial sex hawkers was a gross violation of their rights to dignity because there was no evidence from the defendants for doing so other than mere suspicion that they were outside late at night.