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Falana threatens FG with lawsuit over victims of accidental airstrikes



Femi Falana e1558291739951

Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer, has asked the Federal Government to compensate victims of military airstrikes over the last seven years.

Falana, the chairman of the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, has threatened to sue the Federal Government in a Federal High Court if the demand is not met within two weeks.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the human rights lawyer issued the warning. This warning was issued in the aftermath of last Sunday’s accidental bombing of residents of Tudun Biri in Kaduna State’s Lgabi Local Government Area.

Several accidental strikes by the Armed Forces have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians across the country over the years. Falana emphasized that victims of these bombings have received no justice over the years.

He stated that following the Rann bombing in January 2017, the Federal Government established a commission “charged with reviewing existing rules of engagement applicable in the Armed Forces of Nigeria as well as the extent of compliance with the rules.”

He stated that one of the commission’s mandates was to prefer methods of preventing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

However, the human rights lawyer claimed that in the aftermath of the recent bombing, the federal government has not published the report or implemented the recommendations of the commission led by Court of Appeal Justice Biobell Georgewill.

Falana stated, “No doubt, the military authorities accepted responsibility for the airstrikes and claimed that the crashes were caused by ‘accidents’. But no compensation was paid to those who were injured and the families of scores of people who lost their lives in the tragic incidents.

“The Commission was given 90 days for the assessment. Our law firm represented the victims of the Rann airstrike at the Commission of Inquiry. Upon the conclusion of the assignment, the commission submitted its report.

“The Federal Government should pay adequate compensation to the victims of all airstrikes that have occurred in Nigeria in the past seven years.

“The Federal Government should pay adequate compensation to the victims of all airstrikes that have occurred in Nigeria in the past seven years.

“If our demand is not met within the next two weeks, we shall sue the Federal Government at the Federal High Court to secure the
enforcement of the fundamental right of the victims to life.”

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the Kaduna bombing, President Bola Tinubu directed an investigation, but Falana said that instead of establishing a new panel of inquiry, the federal government should publish the findings of the George Will Judicial Commission.

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