28th November, 2021
One hundred and seventeen Nigerians have dragged President Muhammadu Buhari to court in Abuja to compel him to arrest soldiers and police officers indicted in the Lagos #EndSARS panel report.
The armed agents of the state were indicted for the shooting of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate and police brutality cases.
The suit is being spearheaded by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).
In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1482/2021 filed last Friday, SERAP is also asking the court to compel Buhari to bring to justice anyone suspected to be responsible for the shooting of peaceful protesters.
The 117 litigants also want the court to order Buhari 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 public confidence in government institutions, as well as reduce the growing culture of impunity of perpetrators,” SERAP argues in the suit.
“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.”
“The failure to promptly arrest, and bring to justice those suspected to be responsible for the shooting of peaceful protesters, and to ensure access to justice and effective remedies for victims and their families amounts to a travesty of justice, as justice delayed is justice denied.”
SERAP is also seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to ensure that those still being detained solely for peacefully exercising their human rights are immediately and unconditionally released, and all charges against them are dropped.
Joined in the suit as Respondent is the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN.
The suit was filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.