President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu have been sued over the attacks on peaceful protesters against police brutality and corruption.
The suit by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) followed widespread protests demanding reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The group demands N200million for each of the victim of police brutality.
Joined as Respondents in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN and Commissioner of Police Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu.
In the suit number FHC/L/CS/1451/2020 filed Thursday at the Federal High Court, Lagos, SERAP seeks “an order for the immediate and unconditional release of all those still being detained across the country solely for peacefully exercising their rights.
It also seeks a court order directing the Federal Government and Nigeria Police to immediately identify all victims of police brutality during the protests and adequately compensate each of the victims and their families with N200 million.
SERAP is seeking: “an order to protect and secure the fundamental rights of peaceful protesters across the country participating in the #EndSARS/#SARSMustEnd protests or any other peaceful protests, to wit: their rights to life, dignity, personal liberty, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”
SERAP is also seeking “an order of injunction restricting the Federal Government and the police whether by themselves, their officers or agents, from stopping the protests and from harassing, arresting, detaining, or violating in any other ways the fundamental rights of Nigerians participating in peaceful protests across the country.”
“The right to protest constitutes the very foundation of a system of participatory governance based on democracy, human rights, the rule of law and pluralism. Failure to respect and ensure the right to peaceful protest is typically a marker of repression,” SERAP said in its affidavit.
“In a democracy, people must be given the freedom to come together to express their opinions on issues they care deeply about. The role of government is to facilitate that democratic participation, and not to restrict or criminalise it.”
The organisation is asking the court for “an order directing the Federal Government and Nigeria police to identify all perpetrators of brutality and human rights violations against peaceful protesters across the country, and bring them to justice without further delay.”
SERAP is also asking the court for “an order compelling and directing the Federal Government and Nigeria police to disclose the total number of protesters in the #EndSARS/#SARSMustEnd protests arrested across the country, their places of detention and details of allegations against them.”
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.