32nd Session: Commissioner Johm
33rd Session: Commissioner Johm
SUMMARY OF FACTS
1. The complaint is filed by Stephen O. Aigbe, Master Warrant Officer (MWO)
in the Nigerian Army.
2. The complaint details the mistreatment of the Complainant by the Nigerian
Army. On 17 January 1996, the Complainant claims that he was removed from
his office, arbitrarily detained, and accused of trying to overthrow General
Abacha. On 12 April 1996 and 12 September 1996, he was arraigned on 12
counts of mutiny, a capital charge. He alleges that despite certain
authorities’ observations that the charges were false, he was not acquitted
and the charges are still pending in a faulty trial process. The “rule of
laws and court procedures” should have been “followed and exhausted” by
officials before “a Judge takes far reaching decisions on any matter.”
According to the Complainant, the proceedings violated the rule of law by
not following armed forces regulations, which call for investigation and
then court martial.
3. The Complainant also alleges several violations in relation to his terms
of military service. He alleges that “several colleagues burgled his
barracks” and despite his complaint to the relevant authority, his case was
never investigated. In addition, he was denied living accommodations in the
barracks for two years and was denied “the right to reach [his] pay point
since July 1999” and to take his leave for six years.
4. The Complainant also claims he faces death threats from “subordinate
soldiers and the affluent Generals.” He claims “harassment, intimidation,
humiliation, embarrassment, discrimination, annihilation and threats to
[his] life.” In addition to death threats, he alleges daily occurrences of
“other acts of organized open intimidation [by soldiers and generals].”
5. He alleges that he has sought redress before several authorities,
pursuant to Armed Forces Decree No. 105 of 1993, but certain officers were
obstructing his access to justice. Despite his detailed submissions, the
authorities have failed to provide adequate redress for his grievances and
have bluntly refused to give him “audience at any level,” violating military
and constitutional procedure. He claims that bribery played a role in
keeping his case from being heard.
6. He further alleges that his family has been involved in occult practices
and that members of the military, who are also involved, conspired against
him. He notes that he wrote “so many petitions and protest letters to the
Nigerian Army Council” and to the Oputa Panel.
7. The Complainant alleges violations of Articles 4, 5, 6, and 7(1)(a), (b),
(c), and (d) of the Charter.
8. In his prayer for redress, the Complainant requests that the African
- Intervene quickly to save him and his family from “the risk of
assassination or extra-judicial killing or torture to death”;
- Help restore contact with his children after “full and impartial
investigations into all allegations of state agents in his separation [from
his children], cult acts and practices for government by [his] children and
[his] legal wife”;
- Write to the Nigerian Attorney General and Minister of Justice to request
an investigation into the mutiny allegations that he faces;
- Call for an independent, impartial and public investigation into the
burgling of his barracks;
- Call for a probe into the “reallocation of [his] motorcycle loan to
- Assist him in seeking asylum outside Nigeria since he faces continuous
persecution there; and
- Send him 10,000 Naira to enable him to eat.
9. The undated Complaint was received at the Secretariat on 14th June 2002
10. On 24th July 2002, the Secretariat wrote to the Complainant informing
him that the Complaint was registered and that it will be considered at the
African Commission’s 32nd Ordinary Session, which was scheduled to take
place from 17th to 31st October 2002 in Banjul, The Gambia.
11. At its 32nd Ordinary Session held from 17th to 23rd October 2002 in
Banjul, The Gambia, the African Commission considered the complaint and
decided to be seized thereof.
12. On 4th November 2002, the Secretariat wrote to the parties to inform
them of this decision and requested them to forward their submissions on
admissibility before the 33rd Ordinary Session of the African Commission.
13. At its 33rd Ordinary Session held from 15th to 29th May 2003 in Niamey,
Niger, the African Commission considered this communication and declared it
14. Article 56 (5) of the African Charter requires that "a communication be
introduced subsequent to exhaustion of local remedies, if they exist, unless
it is obvious to the Commission that the procedure for such recourse is
15. The Complainant had alleged that he sought redress before “several
authorities.” The African Commission has no indication in the file before it
that there was any proceeding before the domestic courts on the matter.
16. The Complainant has, despite repeated requests, however, not furnished
his submissions on admissibility, especially on the question of exhaustion
of domestic remedies.
For these reasons, and in accordance with Article 56(5) of the African
Charter, the African Commission, declares this communication inadmissible
due to non-exhaustion of local remedies.
Done at the 33rd Ordinary Session held in Niamey, Niger, from 15th to 29th