News - South South - Delta Updated: April 24, 2024

Okuama Community sues FG for N151bn over military action

April 24, 2024

The Okuama-Ewu community in Delta State, Nigeria, has filed a N151 billion lawsuit against the Federal Government following a military operation that resulted in the deaths of several soldiers.

In an affidavit filed at the Federal High Court in Warri, Chief Esegba, a community leader, claims the soldiers were welcomed warmly upon arrival in Okuama-Ewu with a traditional kola nut ceremony. The community denies any responsibility for the soldiers' deaths, insisting they have no knowledge of how it happened.

This lawsuit comes amidst heightened tensions between the community and the military. The Nigerian Army had previously accused Okuama-Ewu of harboring assailants responsible for killing 17 soldiers. The community refutes this claim.

The N151 billion lawsuit names the Federal Government, Attorney-General of the Federation, Armed Forces of the Federation, Chief of Defence Staff, Nigerian Police, and Commissioner of Police, Delta State, as respondents. Mr. James Oghoroko, the president-general of Okuama-Ewu, and Mr. Esegba are representing the community in the case.

Esegba further stated in the supporting affidavit: “When the personnel of the third respondent got to our Okuama community on March 14, 2024, they were warmly received with our traditional kola nut breaking and wedging ceremony at Okuama community Town Hall by the elders and leaders of our community.


“After the warm reception of the third respondent’s personnel by our community elders and leaders, the third respondent’s personnel demanded our community chairman and other leaders of the community, apparently to arrest and forcibly take them to the third respondent’s base at Bomadi in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State.

“At that point, our community leaders politely appealed to the third respondent’s personnel to kindly permit our community leaders to come by themselves to the prime respondent’s base at Bomadi.

“Instead of acceding to the polite request of our community elders and leaders, the third respondent’s personnel insisted that they go with our community chairman and other leaders.

“In the process, some over-zealous personnel of the third respondent began shooting sporadically during which some of our community elders and leaders were shot dead, while others were seriously injured.

“We later discovered that while on their way back to the 3rd respondent’s base at Bomadi, the 3rd respondent’s personnel were attacked along the Forcados River during which about seventeen (17) personnel of the third respondent were killed."


The lawsuit seeks compensation for what the community describes as a gross violation of their fundamental rights. They claim the military action resulted in the destruction of homes, churches, and other property, in addition to the loss of life.

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