The Federal Government has ordered the payment of N135 million as compensation for the families of those who were killed and wounded at some squatters in the Apo Area of Abuja.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami on Thursday said the decision to compensate the victims was based on findings by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) that they were not Boko Haram members as was alleged by security agencies.
Eight civilians died while 11 sustained injuries on September 20, 2013, after security operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) carried out the raid on an uncompleted building in Apo area.
The victims were discovered to be innocent after an investigation by a three-man investigative panel of the NHRC, led by Professor Chidi Odinkalu.
The panel of inquiry had indicted the DSS of violating the rights of the victims and ordered the security agency to pay compensation.
Malami, while presenting the cheque on behalf of the Federal Government said his office had, after series of negotiations, persuaded the DSS to accept the verdict.
“This gesture in no small measure has emphasised the role of the National Human Rights Commission as an independent organisation, which statutory duties for the promotion and protection of human rights.
“It also serves as an extra-judicial mechanism for the enhancement of the enjoyment of human rights. The commission performs its statutory functions without interference from the Federal Government,” he said.
The commission, according to the Federal Panel had gone through a painstaking exercise to ensure that the right persons are paid. All payments in relation to the commission will be paid through the bank after verification of the accounts, the signatures and photographs of the victims.