Group Calls on Customs to Compensate Victims of Stampede During Distribution of Rice

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The Alliance on Surviving Covid 19 and Beyond (ASCAB) has asked the Nigeria Customs Service to compensate seven indigent citizens who recently died in a stampede during the distribution of rice in Lagos

On February 23, 2023, Customs embarked on the distribution of 25kg bags of rice to indigent Nigerian citizens in the Lagos area at its zonal headquarters in Yaba, Lagos State.

The exercise was marred by a stampede which claimed the lives of seven persons.

The tragic incident led to the immediate suspension of the food disposal initiative by Customs.

A statement signed by the ASCAB Chair, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), on Sunday, warned that the organisation would take legal action against Customs should its advice be ignored.

Falana said, “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.

“Furthermore, the Nigeria Customs Service should lift the suspension of the distribution of the remaining bags of rice without any further delay. To avoid another stampede, the distribution should be carried out through the appropriate local government councils and local government development areas in Lagos State and other States of the Federation.”

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