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#EndSARS panel report: SERAP, 116 concerned Nigerians sue President Buhari

#EndSARS panel report: SERAP, 116 concerned Nigerians sue President Buhari

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 116 concerned Nigerians have petitioned the Federal High Court in Abuja, requesting that President Muhammadu Buhari be directed and compelled to take immediate steps to ensure the arrest of soldiers and police officers indicted by the Lagos #EndSARS panel report.

Soldiers and police officers were indicted for the shooting of nonviolent protestors at the Lekki toll gate, as well as for acts of police abuse.

SERAP is also requesting that the court “direct and compel President Buhari to bring to justice anyone suspected of being responsible for the shooting of peaceful protesters, and to ensure access to justice and effective remedies for victims, including adequate compensation,” according to the lawsuit filed last Friday with the Federal High Court in Abuja.

“It is in the interest of justice to grant this application,” SERAP argues in the lawsuit, saying that doing so will increase respect for Nigerians’ rights, the rule of law, and public confidence in government institutions, while also reducing the rising culture of impunity for perpetrators.

“The safety of protestors in Nigeria remains as fragile as it has always been, and impunity for crimes against them is increasing,” the SERAP stated. Perpetrators gain confidence as a result of impunity. In and of itself, the refusal to bring to justice those who have been accused for the shooting of peaceful protestors is a breach of their rights to life and personal dignity.”

In the words of SERAP, “the flagrant absence of accountability for prior abuses of protestors’ rights has resulted in a growing sense of powerlessness and dissatisfaction not only among victims and their relatives, but also among the wider public.”

In addition, the SERAP stated that “the failure to promptly apprehend and bring to justice those suspected of being responsible for the shooting of peaceful protesters, as well as the failure to ensure victims and their families access to justice and effective remedies amounts to a travesty of justice, because justice delayed is justice denied.”

SERAP is further seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to ensure full and effective respect for the human rights of everyone across the country, including the rights to life, dignity, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association.”

Joined in the suit as Respondent is the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN.

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