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Killings: ECOWAS Court to deliver verdict on SERAP’s suit against FG April 22

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The ECOWAS Court of Justice, Abuja, yesterday, fixed April 22, 2021, to deliver judgment in a suit brought by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) against the Federal Government on killings by herders and other criminal elements in the country.

The adjournment was sequel to completion of arguments from solicitor to SERAP, Femi Falana (SAN) and the government’s lawyer, Mr. Adedayo Ogundele.

In his argument, Falana said: “The government has not denied the serious averments by SERAP. The government is responsible for the unlawful killings by herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators, which have not been adequately prevented, investigated or prosecuted by the authorities. These responsibilities are heightened when an observable pattern has been overlooked or ignored, such as is the case in this suit.

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“The government has a responsibility to protect and ensure the security of life and property of everyone in Nigeria.”

It is not enough for the government to say that civil cases have been brought by some of the victims. The government has a responsibility to investigate, fish out the perpetrators and prosecute them, and to compensate the victims.”

In the suit No ECW/CCJ/APP/15/16, SERAP is arguing that, “the continuing attacks, killings, raping, maiming of Nigerians and other residents, and destruction of property by the military, police, herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators across the country amount to serious violations of human rights of the rights to life, to the security and dignity of the human person, and to property.”

SERAP is therefore seeking “justice and accountability for the authorities’ failure to prevent, account for and investigate killings, raping, maiming of Nigerians and other residents, and destruction of property across the country by herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators.”

The group also wants an order directing the defendant to investigate all cases of unlawful killings and pay adequate money compensation of N50 million to the victims’ families.

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