Thursday, March 14, 2019

Ayuk Tabe case: 5 million Naira for each arrested, Nigerian Universities react

Nigerian academics have hailed the decision of the Abuja Federal High Court ordering the repatriation of six academics - five Cameroonians and one Nigerian - who were arrested and expelled from Nigeria in January of last year on charges of attempted overthrow. of the government of Cameroonian President Paul Biya.

On 1 March, Judge Anwuli Chikere, President of the Court of First Instance, delivered two separate judgments on the case.

In the first case - brought by a group of human rights lawyers against the National Security Advisor and the Attorney General - the judge concluded that the arrest of 7 January 2018 and the detention of the academics were illegal. and unconstitutional. In the second case - introduced by the deportees - the judge ruled that the expulsion of 26 January 2018 was illegal and violated the rights of the deportees guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution.

The court's decision was hailed by the academic community and the staff unions as a sign that the courts can still protect and defend the rights of citizens. The University Academic Staff Union (ASUU) has promised to ensure that the decision is implemented.

The university professors are: Professor Augustine Awasum, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University; Dr. Henry Kimeng, Department of Geology, Ahmadu Bello University; Dr. Julius Ayuk Tabe, Head of Information and Technology at the American University of Nigeria in Yola; Dr. Fidelis Ndeh, Director, University Planning, American University of Nigeria, Yola; Cornelius Njikimpe Kwanga, Lecturer, Department of Economics, Umaru Musa Yar'adua University, Katsina; and Dr. Egbe Ogork, Faculty of Engineering, Bayero University, Kano.

Regarding their unlawful arrest and detention, the judge ordered the state to pay each detainee 5 million NGN (US $ 13,800) in damages "as general and aggravated damages for unlawful violation". of his fundamental rights to life, to the dignity of his person and to a fair trial. , health, freedom of movement and freedom of association ". On the issue of their deportation, the court sentenced the state to pay 200,000 NGN in damages.

The judge also found in both cases that the Nigerian state was under a perpetual injunction preventing it from continuing to violate fundamental rights without legal justification.

She also ordered that the deportees be returned to Nigeria as soon as possible.