The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) says that the Federal Government is responsible for the attacks, killings, raping, maiming of Nigerians and other residents, and destruction of property by the military, police, herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators across the country.
The group stated this in a suit filed Wednesday against the federal government by its solicitor, Femi Falana, SAN, at the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Abuja.
The group in the suit No ECW/CCJ/APP/15/16 contends that the various attacks and killings “amount to serious violations of human rights of the rights to life, to the security and dignity of the human person, and to property.”
The suit reads in part: “The Plaintiff contends that the Defendant is responsible for these human rights violations and abuses by the military, police, herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators which have not been adequately prevented, investigated or prosecuted by the authorities. These responsibilities are heightened when an observable pattern has been overlooked or ignored.”
It also stated, that “the mere knowledge of the killings by the military, police, herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators on the part of the authorities have ipso facto given rise to an obligation under Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to carry out an effective investigation into the circumstances surrounding the killings and to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice, and to provide reparations to victims.
“Moreover, the Defendant has a responsibility for those killings, raping maiming and destruction of property where authorities knew or ought to have known of an immediate threat and failed to take measures that might have been expected to avoid those attacks and killings.”
SERAP is therefore asking the ECOWAS Court of Justice for among others, a declaration “that the attacks, killings, raping and maiming of citizens and other residents and destruction of property and other serious human rights violations and abuses across the country by the military, police, herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators amount to failure by the Defendant to exercise due diligence to prevent the attacks and killings, and cannot be justified under any circumstances, and therefore constitutes a serious breach of Nigeria’s international human rights obligations and commitments to ensure and secure the rights to life, to dignity and security of the human person, and to property, guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party”
It is also seeking an order “directing the Defendant and/or its agents individually and/or collectively to provide effective remedies and reparation, including adequate compensation, restitution, satisfaction or guarantees of non-repetition that the Honourable Court may deem fit to grant to the victims of attacks by the military, police, herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators.”
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