SERAP Sues FG Over Plight Of IDPs | Independent Newspapers Limited
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SERAP Sues FG Over Plight Of IDPs

Posted: May 13, 2015 at 4:20 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Tunde Opeseitan


Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has instituted a law suit against the Federal Government before the ECOWAS Community Court in Abuja over “immense suffering of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the country.”

The Attorney General of the Federation, Muhammed Adoke, apart from the Federal Government, is listed as a co-defendant to the suit.

In the suit No ECW/CCJ/APP/15/15 filed by SERAP’s lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), the plaintiff alleged serious violations by the Federal Government of the human rights of IDPs to life, health, adequate housing, personal integrity, privacy, fair trial, freedom of movement and residence, judicial guarantees, private property and child rights guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa; and  Principles 1-30 of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.”

According to SERAP: “The increased vulnerability of IDPs across Nigeria demands accountability and greater level of respect for the full and effective realization and enjoyment of IDPs rights in Nigeria. The ‘crisis of security’ created by forced internal displacement leaves IDPs unprotected, with women and children disproportionately affected.

“The Nigerian government has continued to fail and/or neglected to respect, protect, fulfill and promote the human rights of IDPs by among others failing to meet their protection and assistance needs, including social and work relations, and their family dynamics, to provide health facilities to meet their physical and mental health needs.

In the whole, SERAP is seeking an order of the ECOWAS Court directing the defendants, their agents individually and/or collectively to promote, respect, secure, fulfill and ensure the IDPs’ human rights to life, health, adequate housing, personal integrity, privacy, fair trial, freedom of movement and residence, private property and child rights.

It also wants an order directing the Federal Government to provide necessary and sufficient resources and effective protection for the victims of displacement to resettle in similar conditions found before the facts of the case and in a place that they freely and voluntarily choose.

The organization further wants an order directing the government and its agencies to keep and publish IDPs’ Register, with complete information on the number of those displaced since 2010, and information on age, sex, level of education, place of origin of the displaced, reasons for the displacement, etcetera, information on the establishment of explicit channels for those affected by displacement to be able to claim from the State special measures of protection, emergency humanitarian assistance, and support for return or relocation, among other matters.

Besides, SERAP is seeking an order directing the government to pay adequate monetary compensation of $300 million (US Dollar) to the IDPs for the violation of their human rights, and to provide other form of reparation, which may take the form of restitution, satisfaction or guarantees of non-repetition, and other forms of reparation that the court may deem fit to grant.