Wednesday, 27 January, 2021

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#EndSARS: Falana-led Panel Asks Nigerians To Submit Complaints On Human Rights Violation


The Alliance on Survival of COVID-19 and Beyond has again condemned the military onslaught against the #EndSARS protesters leading to the death of unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos State on October 20. 

The alliance noted that responsibility for the incident should be fully laid on the Federal Government of Nigeria.

ASCAB, in a statement on Sunday, asked Nigerians to submit complaints of human right violations encountered, witnessed or heard during the protest which rocked the country to approach an independent panel set up by the group.

The group, led by Nigeria’s foremost civil rights defender, Femi Falana (SAN), is the country’s leading coalition of some 80 civil society groups including but not limited to the country’s leading labour movements.

The statement, tagged, “Call for complaints of Human Rights Violations by Police, Military and Other Law Enforcement Agencies in Nigeria” asked Nigerians to come forward to submit reports of human right violations linked to #EndSARS.

ASCAB said the Citizen Tribunal would enrich the investigations into the age-long abuses suffered by Nigerians in the hands of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad.  

“The call is not restricted to victims who have already submitted to panels set up by the government since outcomes and investigations might defer in form or content. ASCAB’s panel is backed by eminent resource persons drawn from labour, civil society and a retinue of experts from the international community.

“The panel is to receive complaints from the general public of violations, before, during and after the #EndSARS protests across Nigeria. To this end, the panel hereby calls on the general public, especially families of those who lost their lives or who suffer one form of human rights violation or another,” a statement signed by the ASCAB panel’s Chairman, Chino Obiagwu, reads.

“The complaints are expected to contain the names of the victim(s), date, time and place of violations, type of violation suffered, name of the perpetrator (if known), name of agency of the perpetrator and any action already taken in the matter,” he added. 

Obiagwu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said the panel would hold public sittings at various locations across the country to hear oral testimonies of complainants and demand accountability from the concerned law enforcement agency. 

He said, “Where it is not possible to have physical meetings with any victim and his or her family, the panel will arrange virtual meetings. 

“All interested victims regardless of whether they have approached the official commissions of inquiry set up by the state governments or not can submit memos to the Citizens Tribunal. 

“To this end, all victims that have submitted a petition to the official commissions of inquiry should indicate if they have, and specify which of the commissions they submitted their petitions to. 

“This will enable us to follow up and track petitions at the official commissions. Complaints can be submitted in writing or by SMS, WhatsApp message, email or by telephone call to the address and telephone numbers through citizenstribunalng@gmail.com, peoplestribunalng@gmail.com, 09153684686 (Whatsapp), 09025243545, 08098944313, 09134868681.”

The group said the Citizen Panel is open to all Nigerians including the media. 

Credit: Sahara Reporters

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