Sunday, March 3, 2024

Court rejects FG’s suit for permission to repatriate dead Italian

A Federal High Court in Abuja has struck out a suit by the Federal Government in which it sought the court’s permission to exhume and repatriate the corpse of a dead Italian, Silvano Trevisan.

In a ruling on Friday, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that the applicant has not displayed sufficient diligence in its handling of the case.

Justice Ekwo proceeded to strike out the suit.

The judge’s decision was informed by the failure of any lawyer to announce appearance for the applicant when the case was called on Friday.

Trevisan, said to be an employee of Setraco Nig. Ltd, was said to have been killed in February 2013 in Maiduguri, Borno State.


On February 3 this year, the Federal Government, through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), approached the court with an ex-parte motion, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/94/2020, and sought among others, permission to exhume the deceased’s corpse and return it to Italy.

The AGF said the suit was informed by a specific request to that effect from the Italian Ambassador to Nigeria.

The applicant had particularly prayed the court for:

*An order permitting the office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and his officers, investigators and other experts to inspect the burial site of one Mr.SilvanoTrevisan an Italian national.

*An order permitting the exhumation, DNA sampling and evacuation of the remains of the said Mr. SilvanoTrevisan.

*An order permitting the handover of the remains of Mr. SilvanoTrevisan for purposes of hand over to the Italian authorities and transmission to his family in Italy.

It stated, in a supporting affidavit, that “the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice was approached by the Italian ambassador to Nigeria in his office.


“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice was requested by the Italian authorities, through their ambassador, to exhume and handover the remains of one Mr. Silvano Trevisan, an Italian national.

“The applicant is aware that the said Mr. Silvano Trevisan worked with Setraco Nig. Ltd before his death. The said Mr. Silvano Trevisan was killed in Maiduguri, Borno State Nigeria sometime in February 2013.

“The Italian government has offered its commitment to provide expert as well as other support for the exhumation o the remains of Mr. Silvano Trevison.

“The family of Mr. Silvano Trevison is desirous of giving him a befitting burial and putting a final closure to his death.

“It was based on these fact that the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice directed Mrs. Hajara H. Yusuf an Assistant Chief State Counsel of the chambers of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice in Abuja to appear before this honourable court and request for the orders sought in the accompanying motion ex-parte.

“The subject matter of the case is of serious national and international importance. Granting this application will not prejudice anyone in any way.”

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