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‘Stop publicity stunts, reveal your sponsors,’ Presidency dares SERAP

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The Presidency on Wednesday charged the Social Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to stop its irresponsible, and bare-faced publicity stunts and render its own accountability.

The Presidency was reacting to the litany of court cases filed by the group to challenge many of the Federal Government’s actions.

The latest was the suit filed by SERAP at the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to take immediate action against soldiers and police officers indicted by the Lagos judicial panel of inquiry for complicity in the shooting of #ENDSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate last year.

In a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, the Presidency challenged the advocacy group to follow through its spurious claims against the government as well as reveal its true identity and financiers.

The statement read: “We would like to address the repeated ridiculous claims from the so-called Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project that it is bringing legal action against the Government and/or President of Nigeria.

“To date, SERAP has announced on repeated occasions–each time via a well-funded media campaign – that it is suing the government or President over a range of issues from alleged human rights abuses to alleged corruption. To date, SERAP has not taken their retinue of legal actions to a logical conclusion. They don’t follow through.

“Yet these headline-grabbing publicity stunts, however baseless, succeed in painting an inaccurate picture of life and governance in Nigeria and – more seriously – in sowing division amongst the Nigerian people during a time of heightened global economic volatility and hardship.”

READ ALSO: #EndSARS report: SERAP sues Buhari, seeks arrest of indicted soldiers, policemen

The Presidency said Nigeria’s record as Africa’s leading democracy and largest economy speaks for itself, adding that the feats, were testament to the rights, rule of law and strong, independent institutions enjoyed by all Nigerian citizens and others who live in the country.

It added: “Indeed, it is a fact that independent, non-governmental organisations can thrive there – especially those that seek accountability from government.

“Put simply, here lies SERAP’s paradox: in a country without human rights, no rule of law, limited freedom of expression, and weak democratic institutions the cases and cacophony that SERAP causes – even the organisation itself – simply would not be permitted.

“Let SERAP challenge the government publicly, legally, and transparently. And while they do so, let them reveal in full view of the nation who they are, and who is funding them.”

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