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We must ensure justice in murder of Saro-Wiwa, others – group

By Tom Amakri, Port Harcourt

A group, Ken Saro-Wiwa Associates, in the Niger Delta region has insisted that it must ensure that justice is established in the murder of the Ogoni environmental activists, Ken Saro-Wiwa, and eight others.

Ken Saro-Wiwa and other eight activists of Ogoni origin were indicted and sentenced to death by a three man special tribunal, Ogoni Civil Disturbance Tribunal, set up by the Federal Government under a military regime in 1995.

Ken Saro-Wiwa Associates, a Niger Delta based group, had filed a suit praying the court to pronounce the special tribunal by the military government and the process of their adjudication as unlawful and to nullify the judgment of the same tribunal against Ken Saro-Wiwa and the others on the 31st of October, 1995.

The group asked the court to declare that the special tribunal was unlawful and acted against the African Charter on Human rights and that its operations were illegal.

Speaking in Port Harcourt yesterday, the leader of Ken Saro-Wiwa Associates, Chief Gani Topba, said that the group would appeal the judgment of the High Court which struck out its application.

Topba wondered while the court ruled that the killing does not affect the organization , pointing out that the murder Ken Saro-Wiwa has impart on every Ogoni person or Niger Delta.

Topba said: “We must ensure that justice is done in this matter, we cannot allow the Federal government to go scout free. The Ogoni activists were killed unlawfully, all we want is for the court to make declaration in this regard.

However, a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt had on Friday struck out the application filed seeking to declare unlawful the constitution of the Ogoni Civil Disturbance Tribunal.

In his judgment, the trial judge, Justice Abdullahi Liman, stuck out the case on locus standi, stressing that the applicant was unable to state his relationship with the convicts and to state his interest in the matter.

Though, Justice Liman condemned the process of the judgment and the decree of the Federal Government which constituted the tribunal, adding that such laws cannot exist in a civilized society.

Justice Liman, who held that the case was for academic, also stated that the tribunal was not properly constituted and that that three men formed the tribunal while the constitution provided for the chairman and three other members.

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