A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has reacted to the lawsuit filed against him at the International Criminal Court (ICC) by a lawyer over last month’s #EndSARS protests in the country.
The lawyer, Joseph Nwaegbu, a Senior Associate of Pathfind Attorneys, who filed the petition at the Hague-based court on behalf of Make Nigeria Better Initiative (MNBI), accused Falana of instigating the protests organized by the youths against police brutality in the country.
However, in a statement titled: “LET THE GUILTY BE AFRAID,” issued on Thursday, Falana explained why he has been vocal against oppression and brutality by the operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other security agents in Nigeria.
The statement read: “From December 12 -14 2015, a massacre of our compatriots took place in Kaduna. The group targeted by the massacre has put the number at over 1000. The sheer scale of the genocidal event is however imaginable to independent minds by subsequent disclosure, by the Secretary to the Kaduna State government in an official submission to a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the incident, of the secret burial in mass graves of 347 of the victims.
“According to this official, 191 of the corpses, taken from the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria, were buried in a mass grave in the Mando area of Kaduna State. The same fate befell 156 other corpses conveyed from the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria. The offence of the victims? Well, no more than that they were members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), adherents of the Shiite interpretation of the religion of Islam, who in the course of a peaceful protest denied right of way to a commander of the Nigerian Army.
“I am not a Shiite or a member of the IMN. But I am a human being and a Nigerian. Just like the victims. I remembered the regrets of Martin Niemoller regarding the do-nothing attitude of those who should have known better when the warning signals of the darkness that eventually enveloped humanity under the jackboots of the Nazis and their superior-race ideology began manifesting.
“The event of December 12, 2015, happened just a few months into the first term of our current democratic rulers. As morning shows the day, events since then have shown it was a precursor of things to come, as Martin Niemoller poignantly warned those who would rather sit in their comfort zone and watch while evil stalks their land because they are either the evildoers or are wallowing under a false sense of assurance of their own position.
“The latest has been the use of men of the Nigerian Army to wage a genocidal attack on peaceful and unarmed #EndSARS protesters especially at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos. A full-scale war declared illegally in Port Harcourt has claimed the lives of scores of unarmed civilians.
“Mr. Joseph Nwaegbu/Pathfind Attorneys/MNBI and their shadowy minders and paymasters obviously think that the ICC is a forum for frivolities, especially of the type we have gotten accustomed to in Nigeria (like, government and government officials hiring praise-singers or protesters to counter-balance genuine protesters!).
“They will sooner or later know that the ICC is not such a place. I welcome them to pursue their petition. I move around the world and I have easy and undisturbed passage. I hope the shadowy minders and paymasters of Mr. Joseph Nwaegbu/Pathfind Attorneys/MNBI are able to do likewise. In fact, I challenge them to dare!”
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