By Ezra Odogu
The children of Kudirat Abiola, wife of MKO Abiola, presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, have filed a suit against the federal government over “failure to protect” their mother.
Khafila Abiola, Moriam Abiola, and Hadi Abiola are suing for themselves and on behalf of the other children of Kudirat.
In a suit marked ECW/CCJ/APP/62/2022, filed before the ECOWAS court of justice in Abuja on their behalf by their lawyer, Femi Falana, the children are challenging the “violation of the fundamental human rights to life and dignity of human person of the late Mrs Abiola”.
They argued that “the failure or refusal of the defendant to protect the life of late Alhaja Kudirat Abiola in the republic of Nigeria amounts to a violation of Articles 1,4,5,18 and 23 of the African Charter”.“The combined effect of the said provisions of the African Charter and the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria is that states will be held responsible if they fail to act with due diligence to prevent violations of the rights or actively involved act which amounts to the violation of the plaintiff right (as in this case), and for providing adequate compensation,” the plaintiffs argued.
“Under the combined provisions of Articles 1, 4, and 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which the federal republic of Nigeria is a signatory, the respondent has infringed on the right of the deceased to life, dignity of her person and security.”
The plaintiffs are seeking “a declaration that the killing of Mrs. Kudirat Abiola by the armed agents of the defendant in Lagos on June 4, 1996 is a violation of her rights to life and dignity guaranteed by articles 4 and 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and articles”.
They are also asking the court to make a declaration “that the refusal of the defendant to charge Sergeant Barnabas Jebila (a.k.a. Rogers), Mohammed Abdul (a.k.a Katako), and Aminu Mohammed Sergeant Barnabas Jebila with murder for the brutal killing of Mrs. Kudirat Abiola in Lagos on June 4, 1996 is a violation of her rights to life and dignity guaranteed by articles 4 and 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and articles”.