Lagos, Nigeria - A court in Nigeria has ordered the country's federal government to pay 37.6 billion naira (US$237 million) as compensation to the victims of the Odi Community in Bayelsa State in the country's oil producing region.
The High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, capital of southern Rivers State, gave the order in a ruling Tuesday, in addition to issuing a permanent injunction restraining the respondents and their agents from attacking Odi again.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Lambo Akanbi, ordered that a special damage of 17.6 billion naira (US$111 million) and a general damage of 20 billion naira (US$126 million) be paid to the community as compensation.
On 20 Nov., Nigerian soldiers invaded the community in search of the killers of 12 policemen, and in the process killed and maimed innocent civilians and totally destroyed the community
The people of the community later took the federal government to court, and demanded 20 billion (US$126 million) as damages.
In his ruling, Justice Akanbi said the federal government brazenly violated the fundamental human rights of the victims to movement, life and to own property and live peacefully in their ancestral home.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who hails from the state, said in a recent interview that the invasion, rather than lead to the arrest of the policemen's killers, resulted in the killing of innocent people and the destruction of the community.