The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the arrest of security operatives involved in the shooting of peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate, and police brutality cases.
1st News had reported that the youths converged at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020; demanding good governance in the country; and likewise an end to police brutality before they were reportedly shot at by security operatives.
This was further confirmed by a leaked report by the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry on police brutality which indicted the officers for shooting “unarmed helpless and defenseless protesters, without provocation or justification.”
As a result, the SERAP in a statement on Sunday, November 28, by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, in collaboration with 116 concerned Nigerians revealed the lawsuit against the Federal Government.
The group wants the court to “direct and compel President Muhammadu Buhari to take immediate steps; to ensure the arrest of soldiers and police officers indicted by the Lagos #EndSARS panel report; for the shooting of peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll-gate, and police brutality cases.”
SERAP is also asking the court to “direct and compel President Buhari to bring to justice anyone suspected to be responsible for the shooting of peaceful protesters and to ensure access to justice and effective remedies for victims, including adequate compensation.
“It is in the interest of justice to grant this application; as it would improve respect for Nigerians’ rights; the rule of law; and also public confidence in government institutions; as well as reduce the growing culture of impunity of perpetrators,” the statement read.
“The safety of protesters in Nigeria remains as precarious as ever; and impunity for crimes against them is growing. Impunity emboldens perpetrators. A failure to bring to justice those indicted for the shooting of peaceful protesters is, in itself, a violation of the rights to life and human dignity.
“The flagrant lack of accountability for past violations of the rights of protesters has given rise to a growing sense of powerlessness, and resentment not only among victims and their families but among the general public.”
According to the SERAP, the failure to promptly arrest; and bring to justice those suspected to be responsible for the shooting of peaceful protesters; and to also ensure access to justice; as well as effective remedies for victims and their families; amounts to a travesty of justice, as justice delayed is justice denied.
Joined in the suit as Respondent is the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.