The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has propelled a lawful activity against President Muhammadu Buhari government and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
SERAP hauled them to the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja over the “merciless crackdown, restraint, and grave infringement and maltreatment of the human rights.”
The body, in suit number ECW/CCJ/APP/20/20, blamed Wike for utilizing COVID-19 as an affection to step up restraint and deliberate maltreatment against the individuals of Rivers State.
It said this included tear-downs, mass self-assertive detainment, abuse, constrained expulsions, and forcing inescapable controls on day by day life.
SERAP grumbled that Wike was utilizing Executive Orders 1 and 6, 2020 to manhandle the rights to freedom and opportunity, in spite of Nigeria’s global commitments, including under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
SERAP said that Wike and his administration neglected to regard, secure and guarantee the intrinsically and universally ensured human privileges of the individuals of his state.
It noticed that the government, being the signatory to ECOWAS arrangements and conventions, can’t get away from its duty to guarantee that the human rights ensured under human rights settlements to which Nigeria is a gathering.
SERAP explains that suing the federal government alongside Wike “is entirely consistent with article 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which provides that a state may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty.”
The rights group is asking the court for an order of injunction to “restrain and stop Governor Wike from further using, applying and enforcing executive orders 1 and 6 or any other executive orders to harass, arbitrarily arrest, detain and demolish property of the people of Rivers state.”
SERAP is also seeking an order directing the defendants to pay “adequate monetary compensation to the victims of human rights violations and abuses, and to provide other forms of reparation, which may take the form of restitution, satisfaction or guarantees of non-repetition, and other forms of reparation that the Honourable Court may deem fit to grant.”
The suit filed on SERAP’s behalf by its solicitors, Kolawole Oluwadare, Atinuke Adejuyigbe and Opeyemi Owolabi, said the, “wanton destruction of people’s property, harassment, arrest, and detention of persons exercising their rights to personal liberty and other human rights amount to an affront to the Nigerian constitution of 1999 (as amended) and the country’s international human rights obligations.”
“Demolition of hotels and guest houses is illegal and unconstitutional, as it runs afoul of the penalty stipulated in the Quarantine Act, which provides only a fine of N200 or imprisonment for a term of six months or both. The demolition is a blatant violation of article 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
“Governor Wike’s demolition workers and security agents without due process of law demolished Prudent Hotel, Alode in Eleme, and Etemeteh Hotel in Onne on Saturday, May 9, 2020, and flagrantly breached the rights of the owners, employees and occupiers. The demolitions were supervised by Governor Wike in the company of security agents of the Federal Government.
“SERAP contends that Governor Wike with the complicity or support of the Federal Government of Nigeria carried out these demolitions without giving adequate notice, compensation, alternative hotel or affording the victims legal remedies. Many people have now been deprived of their means of livelihood, employment and shelter, and exposed to other serious human rights violations and abuses.”