Home Human Rights #EndSARS: ECOWAS Court Rules Nigeria Violated Protesters’ Rights, Orders Prosecution of Security Agents Within Six Months
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#EndSARS: ECOWAS Court Rules Nigeria Violated Protesters’ Rights, Orders Prosecution of Security Agents Within Six Months

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#EndSARS: ECOWAS Court Finds Nigeria Guilty Of Rights Abuse, Ordered To Prosecute Security Agents With Proof In Six Months

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice has ruled that the Federal Republic of Nigeria violated the rights of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020.

In a landmark verdict on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, Judge Rapporteur, Justice Koroma Mohamed Sengu (alongside two of the three-person panel, Honourable Justices Dupe Atoki, presiding and Ricardo Claúdio Monteiro Gonçalves) delivered the ruling that the Court found Nigeria in breach of Articles 1, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACPHR).

These Articles specifically address the right to life, security of person, freedom of expression, assembly and association, prohibition of torture, duty of the state to investigate, and the right to effective remedy.

The Court also held that live rounds, as alleged by the applicants, were shot into the crowd of unarmed protesters by Nigerian security agents on the evening of October 20, 2020, leading to the deaths of several protesters.

READ ALSO: 1 Year After #EndSARS: Where Are They Now?

Additionally, the Court ruled that the Nigerian government must adhere to its obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, investigate and prosecute its agents responsible for these violations, and report to the Court within six months on the measures taken to implement this judgment.

Brought before the ECOWAS Court by a coalition of human rights activists and organisations, the applicants, Obianuju Catherine Udeh, Perpetual Kamsi and Dabiraoluwa Adeyinka, alleged that these violations occurred during the peaceful protests against the SARS Unit of the Nigerian Police Force at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos State on October 20 and 21, 2020.

In response to these violations, including threatening phone calls that forced Udeh (DJ Switch) into hiding and eventual asylum, hospitalisation of Kamsi due to tear gas, and recount of narrowly escaping being shot by Adeyinka, the Court ruled that the Nigerian government to pay a total of N2 million in compensation to each.

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