The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 116 concerned Nigerians are seeking the prosecution of security officials believed to have been indicted by the Lagos #EndSARS panel report.
They filed a suit asking the Federal High Court in Abuja to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the arrest of soldiers and police officers indicted by the panel “for the shooting of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll-gate, and police brutality cases.”
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1482/2021 filed last Friday, SERAP asked the court to “direct and compel President Buhari to bring to justice anyone suspected to be responsible for the shooting of peaceful protesters, and to ensure access to justice and effective remedies for victims, including adequate compensation.”
The claimants argued that: “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.”
They said a failure to bring to justice those indicted for the shooting of peaceful protesters was a violation of the rights to life and human dignity.
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.
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.”
The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi argued that “The Buhari administration has the constitutional responsibility to allow victims of human rights violations to find out the truth in regard to acts committed, to know who the perpetrators of such acts are, and to obtain justice and adequate compensation.”
The suit followed the submission of the Lagos #EndSARS panel report on the Lekki shooting incident and police brutality cases to the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
A leaked version of the report, which has not been confirmed to be authentic, indicted some soldiers and police officers for “the shooting of protesters, leading to grievous injuries and deaths.”
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.