March 29, 2023

Illegal shooting: Ondo court orders Amotekun, state govt, to pay motorcyclist N30m


File image.

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

An Ondo High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital, has ordered the Ondo state government and the State Security Outfit codenamed, Amotekun, to pay N30 million to a commercial motorcyclist, Olusegun Oluwarotimi, for illegally shooting him.

Delivering judgement, Justice O.M Adejumo, said that the illegal firing constituted a violation of the right to dignity of the applicant.

Adejumo added that the shooting which led to the amputation of the applicant’s leg was a flagrant violation of the dignity of the victim, sheer victimization and dehumanization.

She added that the said amount should be paid by the two respondents for exemplary and general damages to the applicant in order to cater for his physical and emotional injuries.

According to her, the officers of the corp acted in flagrant abuse of power.

“ The illegal shooting at Araromi Street on August 9, 2021, in Akure by the Amotekun was a violation of the applicant’s human rights.

“ The court hereby orders the respondents to jointly pay the sum of N20 million to the applicant as general damages and N10 million as exemplary damages,” she said.

The Judge, however, rejected the prayer of the applicant’s counsel, Mr Tope Temokun, asking the court to order the respondent to the tender letter of apology to the applicant in a notable national newspaper.

Speaking with newsmen after the judgment, Temokun said that the applicant was helpless and hopeless after several efforts to seek redress.

He said that he was happy that the judgement favoured his client, describing the verdict as an encouragement and inspiration to fight more for the downtrodden and the helpless in the society.

According to him, the Amotekun Corp was created for the benefit of the society at large and that the citizens must be its watchdog to ensure the establishment does not derail from it’s objective.

The applicant’s counsel stated that he believed that the state government and the corps would obey the court’s order.

“ As we leave this place this afternoon, our letter will get to Mr Governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and he will comply with that judgement.

“ He is not a lawless governor. He will comply. And I believe that no government will use public funds to appeal a case in favour of a victim rendered disabled.

“It is their right but this government will not do it because it is the duty of the government to protect him, my client.

“He has been rendered disabled but his children will go back to school when the court’s order is obeyed because they had stopped going to school since,”

Applauding the judgement, the victim, said that he was glad that there was still justice in the country despite a long period of time.

“ I thank the court and my lawyer, who has stood firmly with me. I am now an amputee with a wife and two children. It has been tough since the incident occurred but I thank God that I’m favoured at last.

Oluwarotimi prayed that the government and the Amotekun will obey appropriately as ordered by the court.