A Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has ordered the Federal Government to pay N50 million as compensation to a domestic violence victim, Mary Sunday.
The victim had suffered extreme burns after her fiancé, Isaac Gbanwuan, a policeman brutalized her in 2012. She lost her ears and ability to work or walk freely on the streets as a result of the incident.
While handing down the judgment in Abuja, Justice Wilkins Wright said that the government failed to investigate the matter when it happened and also provide the lady access to justice as guaranteed under the law.
The court however, found Nigeria not to be in violation of her right to freedom from discrimination and gender-based violence.
The case was filed before the regional Court in August 2015 by the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre and the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa on behalf of Sunday.
Following the verdict, Mary, who could not hold back her emotions, said, “I have suffered so much pain since the incident happened, and never knew I would obtain justice someday.”
The Executive Directors for WARDC and IHRDA, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi and Gaye Sowe, respectively, commended the court’s decision, describing it as a progressive and important jurisprudence for the promotion and protection of women’s rights in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.