Now, many people must have thought that the drama in Okuama Community was coming to an end. Yet are others who thought it wise to wait for the outcome of the investigation by the many security agencies who have taken it upon themselves to get to the root of the matter.

But for the members of Okuama Community, the drama has just begun.

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As we speak, they have dragged the Nigerian Army to court.

See Why Okuama Community Is Dragging Nigerian Army To Court
Nigerian Army

Simply put, members of the community are certain that the attack which occurred in the community after the dead bodies of the slain officers were discovered was a reprisal attack by the Nigerian Army.

The Invasion

Now, they want the court to judge the case.

A Federal High Court, in Warri, Delta State, commenced proceedings on Thursday on the case.

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The Okuama community is seeking ₦100 billion in damages from the Nigerian Army.

The community alleges military invasion and destruction.

To them, this attack followed the March 14, 2024, incident where 17 military personnel were killed during a peace mission amidst communal clashes.

The case, filed under reference number FHC/WR/CS/41/2024, involves 17 plaintiffs representing the Okuama community.

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They include Victor Akemor, Madam Omotiwori Olarehor, and 15 others who claim their fundamental rights were violated by the military’s actions.

The Case

During the initial hearing, the community’s legal representative, Akpokona Omafuaire, affirmed the court’s jurisdiction over the case.

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Omafuaire cited multiple sections of the 1999 Constitution that address human rights.

Notably, the Nigerian Army was absent from the proceedings, with no legal representation present.

Justice I. M. Sani, presiding over the case, has scheduled the next hearing for June 4, where the substantive issues will be addressed.

The plaintiffs are demanding compensation for the alleged violation of their rights.

These include the dignity of human persons, fair hearing, private and family life, freedom of movement, choice of residence, and property ownership.

Destruction

According to the lawsuit, the military operation led to the extensive destruction of the Okuama community.

Only the Anglican Church, Okuama Secondary School, and the Aderha Primary School were spared.

The plaintiffs also accuse the military personnel of looting properties.

They even went as far as imposing collective punishment on the community.

This was done without proper investigation or evidence linking the residents to the soldiers’ deaths.

Also Read: #OkuamaMassacre: Army Board Begins Sitting In Warri

The community members described the aftermath of the invasion as catastrophic, forcing them to flee to forests, bushes, and creeks, living in destitute conditions without basic necessities such as shelter, food, or water.

Furthermore, they highlighted their exposure to harsh weather conditions, wildlife, and health risks.

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