& # 39; EXECUTIVE RASCALITY & # 39 ;: SERAP takes Wike, FG to ECOWAS court for rights violations in Rivers

Socioeconomic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) launched a lawsuit against Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari at the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja over the “brutal repression, repression and serious human rights violations and abuses of the people of Rivers state. "

SERAP declared in case ECW / CCJ / APP / 20/20 presented last Friday: “Governor Wike is using COVID-19 as a pretext to intensify systematic repression and abuse against the people of Rivers State, including arbitrary mass arrests, ill-treatment, forced evictions and the imposition of widespread controls in daily life. "

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According to SERAP: “Governor Wike is using executive orders 1 and 6 of 2020 as instruments to violate and abuse the rights to freedom and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, to a fair trial and to property, contrary to obligations Nigeria's international human rights standards. , including under the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. "

SERAP said: “This lawsuit is mainly against Governor Wike and the Rivers state government for failing to respect, protect and guarantee the constitutionally and internationally guaranteed human rights for the people of their state. The governor used executive orders 1 and 6 to debate the human rights of Nigerians.

“Finally, the Federal Government, being the signatory of the ECOWAS treaties and protocols, cannot escape its responsibility to ensure that the human rights guaranteed by the human rights treaties of which Nigeria is a State Party are fully and effectively realized throughout Nigeria, including the state of Rivers.

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"Prosecuting the federal government alongside Governor Wike is fully consistent with Article 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which provides that a state cannot invoke the provisions of its domestic law as a justification for failure to comply with a treaty. ".

SERAP is asking the court for an injunction to "restrict and prevent Governor Wike from continuing to use, enforce and enforce executive orders 1 and 6 or any other executive orders to arbitrarily harass, arrest, detain and demolish properties of the people of the Rivers State. ”

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SERAP is also seeking an order that “Governor Wike and the other defendants pay adequate monetary compensation to victims of human rights violations and abuses and provide other forms of redress, which may take the form of restitution, satisfaction or guarantee of non-repetition and other forms of redress that the Honorable Member considers appropriate to grant. "

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare, Atinuke Adejuyigbe and Opeyemi Owolabi, said in part: “SERAP claims that several people were arbitrarily arrested and detained at various police stations and isolation centers in Rivers State and without any consideration for due legal process. of law.

“Governor Wike and his agents used, applied and applied executive orders 1 and 6 to suppress and repress the human rights of individuals and business operators, including harassing, arbitrarily arresting, detaining and torturing anyone found exercising their rights in the state Rivers, all under the pretext of applying measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

"The arbitrary destruction of property, harassment, arrest and detention of persons exercising their rights to personal freedom and other human rights represents an affront to the 1999 Nigerian constitution (as amended) and the country's international human rights obligations.

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Read too: SERAP FOR BUHARI: Respect the rule of law, enforce judicial sentences

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“Governor Wike's executive orders, including executive order 6, are invalid, illegal and unconstitutional and have not met the requirements of due process. Governor Wike's order to demolish any hotel or inn found to be operating in Rivers State is ultra-virulent to the penalty stipulated in executive order number 6.

“The demolition of hotels and guest houses is illegal and unconstitutional, as it violates the penalty provided for in the Quarantine Law, which only provides for a N200 fine or imprisonment for a period of six months or both. Demolition is a flagrant violation of Article 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.

“Governor Wike, demolition workers and security officers without due legal process demolished Prudent Hotel, Alode in Eleme and Etemeteh Hotel in Onne on Saturday, May 9, 2020, and grossly violated the rights of owners, employees and occupiers . The demolitions were supervised by Governor Wike in the company of federal government security agents.

“SERAP claims that Governor Wike, with the complicity or support of the Federal Government of Nigeria, carried out these demolitions without notice, compensation, alternative hotel or providing legal remedies to the victims. Many people have already been deprived of their livelihood, employment and shelter, and exposed to other serious human rights violations and abuses. "

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