A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has fined the Federal Government over 37 billion naira damages over the killing and destruction of lives and property during the invasion of Odi community in Bayelsa State by the military in 1999.
A judgment delivered by Justice Lambo Akambi found the soldiers deployed to Odi community during the Obasanjo administration culpable of unlawful killing and gross human rights violation in the case instituted by a team of eminent Nigerian lawyers and international human right groups on behalf of the people.
Justice Lambo Akambi said over seventy billion naira of the money is for special damages while twenty billion naira is for general damages.
The court ordered the federal government to pay the money to the people of Odi community within 3 weeks from the date of judgment.
The Lead counsel to the people of Odi community Luscious Wosu described the judgment as sound, consistent with truth and a victory to the Nigeria Judiciary.
Some legal representatives from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation told our correspondent Emeka Idika that they will study the judgment and decide on what next to do.
In the meantime, Amnesty International has hailed the judgment of the federal high court in Port-Harcourt which found the Nigeria government culpable over the Odi massacre in 1999.
The coordinator of the Stakeholders Democracy Network of Amnesty International Joseph Croft described the decision of the court as a landmark judgment.
He said the verdict has shown that Nigerians can get justice in their own country over human rights violation no matter how long it takes.