- The government of Nigeria is being held to account for the killing of Nigerian citizens by its security agents
- Victims of security agents' wanton harassment, intimidation and human rights abuses have approached an ECOWAS Court
- Nigeria is a signatory to the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights and other International Human Rights instruments
FCT, Abuja - Three applicants who were victims of the military onslaught that occurred at the #EndSARS protests which took place on October 20, 2020, at Lekki Tollgate have filed an action before the ECOWAS Court seeking the enforcement of their fundamental rights.
This was revealed at a virtual press conference in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests attended by a Legit.ng reporter.
The case was instituted by a network of lawyers passionate about human rights including Mojirayo Ogunlana-Nkanga, Bolaji Gambari, Nelson Olaonipekun, and Gaye Sowe.
The applicants approached the ECOWAS Court to consider and hold that the rights of the applicants and other peaceful protesters have been grossly violated by the Nigerian state and its agencies.
PAY ATTENTION: Subscribe to Digital Talk newsletter to receive must-know business stories and succeed BIG!
The applicants seek amongst others, the declaration that the Nigerian state has violated her obligations under the Nigerian Constitution, international laws, and most especially the African Charter; failed and fails to protect the lives of the applicants and citizens.
Addressing journalists, Ogunlana-Nkanga said:
“Some people considered to be sponsors or leaders of the #EndSARS movement have been profiled by government authorities and had their bank accounts frozen, or their passports seized to prevent them from travelling out of the country.
“Today, victims of police brutality are yet to be adequately compensated, and justice has yet to be served either for their families or on the perpetrators.
“The online and offline attacks on human rights defenders, the arrests and illegal detention of protesters, the deregistration of organisations and blanket tag of terrorism on bank accounts belonging to protesters, etc. were some tactics the government and its agencies employed, presumably to silence the dissenting voices.
“All of these constitute a gross violation of fundamental human rights guaranteed by Sections 38 and 40 of the Nigerian Constitution and Articles 9 and 10 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.”
Asked by a Legit.ng reporter why it took a year to institute the case, Ogunlana-Nkanga said:
“A lot of things happened afterwards. We were hoping that there would be a change because there were requests that were made when the protests were ongoing. And we were hoping there would be a change.
“Unfortunately, we are all aware that there has been no change. We are back to the status quo and I can even say things are getting worse because the rights of the applicants are still being violated.”
#EndSARS: Okowa heads Delta state human rights protection committee
Meanwhile, in Delta state, efforts are being made to ensure that the complaints of police brutality are adequately attended to.
The state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa is leading a committee to ensure that all issues concerning police brutality are addressed.
The committee will also address issues of extra-judicial killings in the state and compensate those aggrieved.