Taiwo Adebulu, The CableNG
The Alliance for Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), a coalition of 80 labour and civil society organisations (CSOs), has set up an “independent citizens’ panel” on human rights violation during the #EndSARS protest.
The group, led by Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, asked Nigerians to submit complaints of human rights violation witnessed before, during and after the #EndSARS protest in October.
In a statement on Sunday, Chino Obiagwu, senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and chairman of the ASCAB panel, said the call is not restricted to victims who already submitted to panels set up by the government.
Obiagwu said the “citizen tribunal” will enrich the investigations into the abuses said to have been perpetrated by the disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS).
“The Panel is to receive complaints from the general public of violations, before, during and after the #EndSARS protests across Nigeria,” ASCAB said.
“To this end, the panel hereby calls on the general public, especially families of those who lost their lives or who suffer one form of human rights violation or another.
“The complaint is expected to contain the names of the victim(s), date, time and place of violations, type of violation suffered, name of the perpetrator (if known), name of agency of the perpetrator and any action already taken in the matter.
“All interested victims, regardless of whether they have approached the official commissions of inquiry set up by the State Governments or not, can submit memos to the Citizens Tribunal.
“To this end, all victims that have submitted a petition to the official commissions of inquiry should indicate if they have, and specify which of the commissions they submitted their petitions to. This will enable us follow up and track petitions at the official commissions.
“Where it is not possible to have physical meetings with any victim and his or her family, the panel will arrange virtual meeting.”