Benue: ECOWAS Court Orders Prosecution Of 2018 Mass Killing Perpetrators
ECOWAS Court held that the Nigerian government breached its obligation to investigate the human rights violations that occurred (Photo Courtesy: The Guardian Nigeria)

The Community Court of Justice Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Friday ordered the Federal Government to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of the January 2018 mass killings and destruction in some communities in Benue State, Concise News reports.

The court, in a statement, held that the Nigerian government breached its obligation to investigate the human rights violations that occurred.

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It said that a three member panel of the Court handling the case also ordered the government to redress the victims and provide preventive security arrangements to counter any future occurance in the affected communities.

It said that the affected communities are Adai, Tse Agur, Mbaguene, Guma Local Government Areas of the State.

“Suit No. ECW/CCJ/APP/16/18, the estates of Mbakpenu Zamber, Nyiev Bohemen, Simon Anyom, Yahuan Bohemen, Atorjime Timothy, Musega Mtagher and Pius Udughkyla.

“The next of kin of the deceased seven farmers; alleged the violation of their fundamental human rights and those of their late relatives, particularly the rights to life, dignity, peace, security and equality before the law.’’

The court, however, rejected a request by the plaintiffs for an order compelling the government to pay a sum of N200 million to each of them as general damages.

“It also rejected the request of the plaintiffs for an order for the government to pay each of them the sum of N1 billion each as aggravated and punitive damages.’’

The judgment was presided by Justice Edward Asante, President of the court, Presiding, Justice Keikura Bangura, and Hon. Januaria Costa.

Drug abuse: NGO Sensitises Benue Students

In related news, Vanguard Against Drug Abuse (VGADA), an NGO, says it has begun sensitising secondary schools students in Benue to the negative effects of drug abuse and other social vices.
The Benue Coordinator, Alechenu Godwin disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja. 
The group had begun its National Campaign against drug abuse since April, 10, 2019 in which Kwara State was visited to sensitise some secondary school students. 
Godwin said that Benue chapter had organised a tour tagged ” Say no to drug and substance abuse” with a view to educating them on the dangers and consequences of illegal drug intake and how to avoid addiction.
He said that the team had visited Ogiri Oko Secondary School North Bank, Makurdi to sensitise them to drug and substance abuse and it effects.
He also said that the menace of drug and substance abuse has taken a new dimension with more of the secondary school students daily getting involved with little or no remorse. 
He added that physical dependence manifests when drug intake was decreased or stopped resulting into withdrawal syndrome, which leads to a very distressing experience.
“Psychological dependence is experienced when an abuser relies on a drug to produce feelings of well being. 
“Students needs to get accurate and detailed information about substance use from a trusted and reliable adult, be it a parent, a teacher or NGOs who are into drug related issues,” he said.    
Godwin appealed to the students to shun actions and habits that could affect their health, adding that their future was at stake if they do not desist from drug abuse.
He further said that the team would be visiting more schools under Zone B senatorial district of Benue before the end of the year.