Falana Demands Justice For Those Killed In Customs Office Stampede

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has demanded that the Nigerian Customs Service compensate the families of those who died in the stampede while struggling to benefit from the service’s cheap rice sale initiative.

Bahd street vibes recalls that in an effort to cushion the hardship faced by Nigerians, the NCS announced plans to sell off rice and other food items seized from smugglers at a very cheap rate.

The short-lived initiative was suspended after seven individuals reportedly died while trying to gain entrance into the Customs zonal headquarters in Yaba, where the sales took place.

Demanding compensation for the families of the victims, Falana argued that the NCS must take full responsibility for the incident. He further faulted the service for its failure to identify and commiserate with the families of the victims who died at the stampede.

He said, “Since a bag of rice was selling for N77,000 at the material time, it ought to have occurred to the Nigeria Customs Service that its zonal headquarters in Yaba would not be able to contain the crowd that had been invited to purchase a 25kg bag of rice at N10,000.

“Therefore, the authorities of the Nigeria Customs Service should take urgent steps to identify the bereaved families of the seven deceased citizens with a view to paying them adequate monetary compensation.

“However, if our advice is ignored by the authorities, we shall not hesitate to approach the Federal High Court to enforce the fundamental right of each of the deceased persons to life as guaranteed by Section 33 of the Nigerian Constitution and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.”

Falana further charges Customs to immediately resume the initiative and device means to ensure that a stampede does not re-occur. He suggested that the distribution should be carried out through the appropriate local government councils and local government development areas in Lagos and other states of the federation to avoid a re-occurrence of the tragedy.

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