Nigerian CSOs Besiege ICC With Competing #EndSARS Petitions

Falana is accused of instigating the violent #EndSARS protests that led to killing of innocent citizens, wanton destruction of properties and other henious crimes against humanity in Nigeria.

Femi Falana / Photo credit: dnlegalandstyle
Femi Falana / Photo credit: dnlegalandstyle

Nigerian based Civil Society Organisations have sent competing petitions to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, one accusing a human rights lawyer of instigating the EndSARS protests leading to violence and the other petition, accusing the government of violating cracking down on peaceful protesters.

Joseph Nwaegbu, Esq. a Senior Associate of Pathfind Attorneys on behalf of Make Nigeria Better Initiative (MNBI) filed a criminal complaint against Lagos human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, at the ICC.

Falana is accused of instigating the violent #EndSARS protests that led to killing of innocent citizens, wanton destruction of properties and other henious crimes against humanity in Nigeria.

The ICC has acknowledged receiving the petition through the Head of Information and Evidence Unit of the ICC, Mark P. Dillon, the Communication. The petition has reportedly been entered into the Registry of the Court and will be considered accordingly with the procedure and Rome Statute of the ICC.

READ ALSO: Sam Adeyemi, Falz, Davido, Others Sued For #EndSARs Protests

The complaint dated 4th November, 2020 was addressed to the Office of Madame Fatou Bensouda,
The Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC).

Falana is accused playing an ignoble and criminal role in the protests, before, during and after it.

“On the recent #EndSARS Protests which turned violent across the country, we beg to submit that the role played by Mr. Falana before, during and after what observers described as “the mother of all protests in Nigeria” is not only ignoble but criminal”, the group said.

Falana is also accused of spreading fake news to further incite the youths in the country against the government which led to killings and destructions of properties.

“The petitioners said, ‘We have seen how the type of incitement spearheaded by Mr. Falana worked in Rwanda and other parts of the world and the resultant effect was genocide. In the case of Nigeria, the misguided youths who acted based on Falana’s posture, character and utterances employed crude methods to illegally murder about 22 (Twenty Two) police officers in cold blood during the #EndSARS Protests that lasted between the period 3rd October, 2020 till 21st October, 2020.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS Lekki Shootings: Falana Group To Set Up Citizens Panel Of Inquiry

“We strongly believe that Mr. Falana is a highly placed Nigerian citizen, senior lawyer and politician that without the timely intervention of the ICC he will get away with justice in this case.”

“At Oyigbo Police Station in Lagos alone, a total of 3 (Three) police officers were killed and roasted like Christmas goats with their facilities destroyed”, they said.

In the criminal complaint, listed in it were policemen killed and government property destroyed as casualties of the protest which lasted for about three weeks.

The group called on the ICC Prosecutor to opens an investigation of Femi Falana, SAN, on her own accord under Article 15 (1) of the Rome Statute;

It called on the ICC Prosecutor to compels Femi Falana SAN upon conviction under the Rome Statute to pay the sum of $2,000,000,000 (Two Billion US Dollars) as punitive damages for causing death, injury and maiming of several citizens as well as wanton destruction of public and private properties through his instigation of the violent #EndSARS Protests across Nigeria from the period 3rd October, 2020 till 21st October, 2020.

READ ALSO: Victims Of #EndSARS Lekki Shooting Have Questions To Answer – Tinubu

In the other petition which Falana has said is behind the complaint against him, the Socio-Economic and Rights Accountability Project (SERAP) submitted a petition to the International Criminal Court against the authorities of the Nigerian Army for the brutal killing of peaceful protesters in Nigeria.

Falana said, “The suspects in the petition believe that I instigated petition. Hence, this obnoxious rejoinder was hurriedly crafted and dispatched to the office of the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC to divert attention from the crime against humanity allegedly committed by those who opened fire on peaceful protesters in violation of international humanitarian law.”

READ ALSO: Court Sanctions The Freezing Of #EndSARS Sponsors Bank Accounts

He said, “But the cheap ploy will not work as the ICC does not entertain frivolous petitions that are anchored on conjecture or speculation. After all, the ICC is not unaware of the fact that the suspects who committed arson and wilful damage to private and public properties in Lagos State and other places during the #endsars protests have been arrested, investigated and arraigned in criminal courts.

“I am however surprised that the office of the Chief Prosecutor acknowledged the receipt of the groundless petition because it is the practice of the ICC to formally accept all petitions including the most absurd and obnoxious.”

The Interview Editors

Written by The Interview Editors

The Interview is a niche publication, targeting leaders and aspiring leaders in business, politics, entertainment, sports, arts, the professions and others within society’s upper middle class and high-end segment in Nigeria.