The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, CAPPA and her allies have submitted a petition to the International Criminal Court and the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights to demand an inquiry into the killings and maiming of peaceful EndSARS protesters in Lekki.
The petition which was signed by 10,027 individuals and 154 organizations from 75 countries, according to CAPPA was essential because the panel of inquiry set up by the Nigerian government is not trusted to deliver justice for the victims.
Addressing journalists during a press conference, Akinbode Oluwafemi, Executive Director, CAPPA explained that the petition was aimed at demanding an end to police brutality and getting justice for all the victims of #EndSARS.
He buttressed that, “Nigerians are now becoming doubtful of the likely outcomes of the judicial panels set up to look into the cases of rights abuses linked to SARS and government’s initiatives supposedly targeted at addressing the corruption in the system.
“With justice seemingly distant, we had no option than to seek help elsewhere. On 23rd October 2020 CAPPA began collating signatures for the International Criminal Court (ICC) and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights to institute an inquiry into the brutal deployment of firearms against peaceful protesters at Lekki and other acts of human rights abuses that have happened across the country, especially since October 8.
“We decided to approach the ICC and the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights to open an international inquiry into the killing and maiming of #EndSARS protesters as well as identified individuals who actively and covertly promoted and instigated violence on the peaceful protesters.
“We are happy to inform you that this morning, Friday 20 November 2020, we delivered this international petition to the ICC and UN High Commissioner. 10,027 individuals have signed the petition as well as 154 organisations from over 75 countries around the world. Additionally, a dozen notable international figures have voiced their solidarity with the movement for justice happening in Nigeria today.
“Among the signatories are two former UN special rapporteurs, several members of the United States Congress, and Cornell and Harvard University professors.
“They join us in demanding an end to police brutality and want justice for victims of the Lekki shooting. With us, they shudder at the fact that the Nigerian government massacred its own citizens and must be held accountable for this misdeed. We will not concede the core principles of human rights and democracy.
Speaking on the need to submit a petition to ICC and UN, Aderonke Ige, Associate Director, CAPPA explained that,
“We realize that there are compromises at the panel of inquiry set up at various levels and attempt by the government to change the whole situation.
“Something happened to the full glare of the citizens but the government has been concocting all sorts of narratives and if care is not taken, all the victims won’t get justice,” she noted.
Ige expressed her displeasure with the way the judiciary, which according to her is supposed to be a source of hope to citizens, has been given pronouncements and orders that do not take into consideration due process.
She noted that with the submission of the petition, it is certain that all the victims of the EndSARS, not just protesters but security operatives who have been affected, would get justice.
Speaking on the relevance of demanding justice for EndSARS Victims to CAPPA, an organization advocating for good governance, Philip Jakpor, Program Officer, CAPPA, said, “we need to ensure the rights of everyone in the country is protected and that democracy thrives” adding that happenings in the country in recent times show that democratic governance is being threatened.