The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, Abuja, will on Thursday begin hearing in a case between some Niger Delta people and the Federal Republic of Nigeria over the alleged violation of the fundamental human rights of the entire Niger Deltans.
The plaintiffs in the landmark case with Suit No. ECW/CCJ/APP/20/15 are Mr. Nosa Ehanire-Osaghae, Mr. Jonah Gbemre, Mr. Aiko Obobaifo and Mr. Daniel Ikponmwosa, suing on behalf of the Niger Delta people and the defendant, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in which pleadings have been concluded by learned counsel on both sides since the suit was instituted over a year ago.
The plaintiffs in their claims are praying the West Africa Court of Justice to stop the Federal Government of Nigeria from depriving the Niger Deltans of their God-given oil blocks vis-à-vis natural resources which they allocated to foreign oil companies and non-indigenes from other parts of the country at their own expense and impoverishment.
Other demands of the plaintiffs represented by Barrister Sophia Okoedion of H.S Okoedion Chambers are:
“That the Federal Republic of Nigeria has violated the fundamental human rights of Niger Deltans to life and a healthy environment by the hazardous flaring of gas in their host communities unabated for the last 30 years, which has resulted in many health casualties, fatalities and untimely deaths without adequate reliefs and compensations.
“That the Federal Republic of Nigeria should put a stop to all acquiring, renewal, award, allocation, transfer, prospecting, buying and selling of oil blocks and their assets until the hearing and determination of substantive matter.
“That the Federal Republic of Nigeria should re-allocate the ownership of all onshore and offshore oil blocs in the Niger Delta region back to the indigenous oil communities forthwith in accordance with its United Nations and African Union treaty obligations and statutory international law.
“That the Federal Republic of Nigeria should immediately pay remedial environmental damages to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in order for them to speedily facilitate the total remediation of the oil polluted farming lands and fishing waters in Niger Delta region to the tune of $30 billion for the excess of 9 million barrels of spilt crude oil in the Niger Delta region and for the hazardous gas flaring over the last fifty years of oil exploration and exploitation in the Niger Delta.
“That the Federal Republic of Nigeria, should not impede and mitigate but rather assist and facilitate an enabling environment for the people of Niger Delta to conduct a peaceful and democratic Referendum to exercise their inalienable Right to Self Determination as enshrined in the United Nations and African Union treaties which it ratified and is signatory bound in accordance with the statutes of international law and any other order or further order that this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case.”