SERAP Petitions UN Over Violent Attacks On Deji Adeyanju, Other Protesters

SERAP Threatens To Sue UI, AAUA Over Increased Fees

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has petitioned the United Nations over violent attacks on activists, Deji Adeyanju and other protesters in Abuja.

SERAP wrote to the UN Special Rapporteur, Mr. Clement Voule, expressing concerns urging him to “publicly express concerns about the growing human rights violations and abuses in Nigeria and call on the authorities to end violent attacks on peaceful protesters.

In the petition dated 24 December 2019 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP alleged that, “Nigerian authorities and police on Monday morning in Abuja failed to stop attacks on peaceful demonstrators by young men apparently armed with sticks and sharp objects. The police officers who were present did not intervene decisively to stop the attacks or arrest any attackers.”

READ ALSO: Two Groups Clash In Abuja Over Continued Detention Of Sowore

The organization said: “The government of President Muhammadu Buhari is responsible under the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended) and international law to protect the safety and rights of protesters and create an environment conducive to a diverse and pluralistic expression of ideas and dissent from government policy.

“The wave of protests against repression by both the Federal and State authorities illustrates a broken social contract between the authorities and Nigerians. The authorities have been failing to meet the demands of Nigerians to respect human rights, end restrictions on civic space, obey court orders and ensure the rule of law.

“Deji Adeyanju, one of the protesters, was hospitalised after sustaining bruises on his left arm. Protesters were reportedly chased from the Secretariat of the National Human Rights Commission where they had gathered to deliver a petition to the commission.”

The petition copied to Ms. Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, read in part: “The failure to hold to account those responsible have continued to increase the vulnerability of protesters and activists in the country.”

Read the petition below:

24 December 2019

Mr. Clement Nyaletsossi Voule,

Special Rapporteur on the right to peaceful assembly and association

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Palais Wilson

52 rue des Pâquis

CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland

Email: [email protected]

Re: Urgent appeal to request the Nigerian government to end violent attacks on peaceful protesters in Abuja, Nigeria

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) is sending you this urgent appeal to publicly express concerns about the growing human rights violations and abuses in Nigeria and to call on the Nigerian authorities to end violent attacks on peaceful protesters and to take urgent measures to respect and protect the rights of all Nigerians to protest anywhere in the country.

We urge you to call on the Nigerian authorities to address the root causes of protests and end persistent disobedience of court orders and impunity of perpetrators in the country.

SERAP is a non-profit, nonpartisan, legal and advocacy organization devoted to promoting transparency, accountability and respect for socio-economic rights in Nigeria. SERAP received the Wole Soyinka Anti-Corruption Defender Award in 2014, and was nominated for both the UN Civil Society Award and Ford Foundation’s Jubilee Transparency Award. SERAP serves as one of two Sub-Saharan African civil society representatives on the governing Committee of the UNCAC Coalition, a global anti-corruption network of over 380 civil society organizations (CSOs) in over 100 countries.

Nigerian authorities and police yesterday morning in Abuja failed to stop attacks on demonstrators by young men apparently armed with sticks and sharp objects. According to our information, the police officers who were present did not intervene decisively to stop the attack or arrest any attackers.

Deji Adeyanju, one of the protesters, was hospitalised after sustaining bruises on his left arm. Protesters were reportedly chased from the Secretariat of the National Human Rights Commission where they had gathered to deliver a petition to the commission. The attacks are coming on the heels of similar violent attacks on protesters demanding the release of prisoners of conscience in Abuja in November, and another apparently sponsored and coordinated attacks against Amnesty International’s office in Abuja in March 2017, following the launch of its human rights report on the military.

The demonstrations have taken place against a backdrop of the failure by the Nigerian authorities to respect human rights, release prisoners of conscience including Omoyele Sowore, Olawale Bakare and Agba Jalingo, obey court orders and respect the rule of law.

The government of President Muhammadu Buhari is responsible under the Nigerian Constitution and international law to protect the safety and rights of peaceful protesters and create an environment conducive to a diverse and pluralistic expression of ideas and dissent from government policy.

Freedom of peaceful assembly is a fundamental right guaranteed under the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended) and regional and international human rights treaties including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.

SERAP is seriously concerned that the Nigerian authorities have so far failed and/or neglected to address or redress the attacks on peaceful protesters, despite growing calls on the authorities to investigate the attacks and bring perpetrators to justice. The failure to hold to account those responsible has continued to increase the vulnerability of protesters and activists in the country.

The wave of protests against repression by both the Federal and State authorities illustrates a broken social contract between the authorities and Nigerians. The authorities have been failing to meet the demands of Nigerians to respect human rights end restrictions on civic space, obey court orders and ensure the rule of law.

We therefore urge you to put pressure on the Nigerian authorities to take all feasible measures to protect peaceful protesters demanding the release of all prisoners of conscience, and full respect for the rule of law.

We urge you to put pressure on the Nigerian authorities to immediately and thoroughly investigate the attacks, identify the perpetrators and ensure the prosecution of anyone found to be responsible for the violent attacks.

We urge you to put pressure on the Nigerian authorities to make clear that they will not tolerate violent attacks on protesters. The authorities have a responsibility both to respect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to protect protesters from violent attack.

We would be happy to provide further information or to discuss any of these human rights issues in more detail with you.

Please accept the expression of our highest consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Kolawole Oluwadare

Deputy Director

CC: Ms Michelle Bachelet

High Commissioner for Human Rights

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Email: [email protected]

VIDEO: Deji Adeyanju Beaten Up As Sowore Supporters, Group Clash Despite Police Presence

 

 

One would not find it so difficult to realise why popular activist, Deji Adeyanju, was among the top Twitter trends on Monday.

Could it be because he shared a picture of ‘pap and akara’ with a caption “Breakfast Before Aluta” earlier in the day? No.

The activist became one of the most talked-about topics on the social network because he was beaten up by a group of young men during protests by supporters of the convener of #RevolutionNow movement, Mr Omoyele Sowore, and another group of protesters in Abuja.

 

The clash occurred in the presence of some police personnel outside the Headquarters of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the Federal Capital Territory.

This took place after the pro-Sowore supporters demanded the release of the activist while the other group of protesters staged the demonstration in support of his continued detention.

The other group then attacked the pro-Sowore protesters who were at the commission to submit a petition against the Federal Government.

Television’s correspondent confirmed that the attack occurred in the full view of the police who had to eventually intervene to restore calm.

The security operatives later made some arrests.

A civil rights group, the Enough Is Enough movement, had given a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to release Sowore or face nationwide protests.

Watch the video below:

PHOTOS: Concerned Nigerians Group Protests Over Sudan Killings

Convener of the Concerned Nigerians Group, Deji Adeyanju, and other protesters at the Sudanese Embassy on Friday, in Abuja. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV.

 

A group known as Concerned Nigerians on Friday took to the streets of Abuja to protest over the killings in Sudan.

Led by its convener, Deji Adeyanju, the group of protesters marched to the Sudanese Embassy as they called on the government to bring an end to the killings.

Read Also: Sudan’s Military Arrests Protest Leaders

See Photos Below.

Concerned Nigerians Group Protests Over Sudan Killings

Convener of the Concerned Nigerians Group, Deji Adeyanju, and other protesters at the Sudanese Embassy on Friday, in Abuja. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

A group known as Concerned Nigerians on Friday took to the streets of Abuja to protest over the killings in Sudan.

Led by its convener, Deji Adeyanju, the group of protesters marched to the Sudanese Embassy as they called on the government to end the killings before it spreads to other parts of Africa.

 

Read Also: Sudan Protesters Reject Talks After 101 Killed In Crackdown

The northeastern country has been engulfed in turmoil since security forces on June 3 violently broke up a weeks-long sit-in by protesters demanding an end to military rule.

The Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors close to the protest movement said on June 5 that at least 101 people had been killed in the crackdown.

Forty bodies were also said to have been recovered from the Nile river.

A military council has ruled the country since the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir on April 11, following months of protests against his three-decade authoritarian rule.

But army ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said following the crackdown that the agreement had been ditched and an election would take place within nine months a plan rejected by demonstrators.

Western powers have warned that snap elections will crush hopes for a democratic transition in Sudan and have called for a return to negotiations.

Senate Orders Committee To Investigate Deji Adeyanju’s Rearrest

Buhari’s Health: We Are Self-Funding, Say Protesters
Deji Adeyanju

 

The Senate has ordered the joint committee on police and judiciary to investigate the rearrest of an activist, Deji Adeyanju, by the police.

Adeyanju’s rearrest was mentioned on the floor of the Senate, on Tuesday, by Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West senatorial district, where the activist hails from.

Senator Melaye cited Orders 43 and 52 stating that one of his constituents, Deji Adeyanju, was invited by the Police.

He said Deji Adeyanju is a pro-democracy activist who has been arrested twice by the Nigerian police for organising protests in the defense of democracy.

 

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Activist Deji Adeyanju, Others For Alleged Criminal Conspiracy

“This activist was arrested again by the Police, for a matter that took place 18 years ago. The judgement has been given. Deji Adeyanju and two others have been discharged and acquitted by the court

“Mr. President, we are in a democracy. Our Constitution has given us the freedom of association, freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

“This is not acceptable to me; it should not be accepted by the Senate. It is time for the Senate to stand up and speak up in defense of Deji Adeyanju. We need to defend Deji Adeyanju, as we need to defend every Nigerian.

‏”The Senate should constitute a committee to look into this. A matter like this should not be awoken from the grave. This is about our basic fundamental human rights,” Melaye said.

His motion was seconded by Senator Emmanuel Paulker, representing Bayelsa Central.

Senate President Bukola Saraki in response refers the Point of Order to the Joint Committee on Police and Judiciary to investigate and report back to the Senate in one week.

“This young man has been arrested and rearrested. This is a country that is seen as a leader in the continent. The committee should look into this,” Saraki said.

Police Arrest Activist Deji Adeyanju, Others For Alleged Criminal Conspiracy

Buhari’s Health: We Are Self-Funding, Say Protesters
File Photo: Deji Adeyanju

 

The Nigeria Police Force on Wednesday arrested activist Deji Adeyanju and two others, Daniel Abobama and Boma Williams who were involved in a demonstration in Abuja.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Ag Dcp Jimoh Moshood, explained that they were arrested for alleged criminal conspiracy.

Other allegations were defamation of character, public nuisance, disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant, disturbance of public peace, inciting public disturbance, threat to public security and safety, criminal defamatory and derogatory conduct against constituted authority and breach of law and order.

According to Moshood, the Nigeria Police Force is not unaware of the rights of every Nigerian to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, as well as freedom of movement as essentials of democracy provided for by the 1999 Constitution.

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He, however, stated that such rights must be observed with decorum.

“Deji Adeyanju, Daniel Abobama and Boma Williams contravene the law and were arrested for Criminal Conspiracy, Joint Act, defamation of character, public nuisance, disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant, disturbance of public peace, inciting public disturbance, threat to public security and safety, criminal defamatory and derogatory conduct against constituent authority and breach of law and order under sections 96, 113, 114, 152, 183 and 391 of Penal Code law. They are already arraigned in court in Abuja for prosecution.

“For avoidance of doubt, attached are the exhibits recovered from Deji Adeyanju, Daniel Abobama and Boma Williams and some of the criminal defamatory comments and utterances, that is capable of inciting public disturbance, threat to public security and safety, criminal defamatory and derogatory conduct against constituent authority and breach of law and order pasted by Deji Adeyanju on his Facebook page”.

OndoDecides: PDP Indicates Interest In Going To Tribunal

OndoDecide: deji-adeyanju on Ondo ElectionA member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Deji Adeyanju, on Monday said that the way the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) handled the Ondo State governorship election bore marks of a plan to disenfranchise the candidate of his party.

The governorship election held on Saturday, November 26, was won by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredou.

But the PDP member is insisting that the election should have been postponed to enable the candidate of hias party, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, whose name was added to the list of candidates 48 hours to the election day, campaign and also submit a list of his agents in the election to the INEC.

Prior to the election day, the division in the PDP had produced two candidates for the governorship election, triggering suits in a court that ruled in favour of Mr Jimoh Ibrahim, a factional candidate.

The INEC had added Mr Ibrahim’s name to the list in obedience to the court’s ruling, but Mr Jegede contested the High Court’s ruling in an Appeal Court, which ruled in his favour few days before the election.

The ruling of the Appeal Court was upheld by the Supreme Court 48 hours to the election and INEC subsequently replaced Mr Ibrahim’s name with that of Mr Jegede.

Mr Jegede requested that the INEC should postpone the election to enable him campaign and present a list of his agents to the electoral body, but the INEC insisted that it would go ahead with the election.

Giving his opinion on the election, Mr Adeyanju insisted that the process was flawed.

“The party (PDP) cannot accept the fraud. From the beginning, when INEC changed the name of Eyitayo Jegede with that of Jimoh Ibrahim, who was not a member of our party but from the Accord Party, we raised alarm that the FG (Federal Government) and the INEC were working together to disenfranchise our party.

“The Court of Appeal has said that the judgement of Justice Okon Abang was a fraud.

“You will also see that Eyitayo Jegede was given 48 hours to campaign. He was not given the opportunity to submit his agents list, as provided by the Electoral Act,” he stated.

Mr Adeyanju further claimed that the INEC also flouted the Electoral Act in the election, which he insisted fell short of the provisions of the Act.

He also accused the INEC of working with the ruling APC to disenfranchise his political party in the Ondo Governorship election.

“The Electoral Act was severely flouted in this election. As far as we are concerned there was no election. We see a situation that the INEC just handed the election to the APC. There was no need for the hurry.

“We have seen, for the first time in this country, an INEC that is acting like an organ of the APC,” he said, further raising concerns over the decision of the INEC not to postpone the Ondo election, as it did in Edo State.

The PDP member claimed that the Edo election was postponed because the electoral body saw that the APC would not win the election.

“In Ondo State INEC had intentionally done grave injustice to Mr Jegede. The Electoral Act said the INEC must give the candidate at least seven weeks for him to submit his candidate.

“Eyitayo Jegede did not have agents in many polling units. We had situations where observers would call in to say there were no agents of the PDP in most polling stations,” he also claimed.

The division in the opposition party has continued to take its toll on the party’s stance in different elections, something that political analysts said had been taken advantage of by other parties to scuttle the PDP’s chances in any election.

But Mr Adeyanju believes there is no faction in his party, insisting that a faction of the party led by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is loyal to the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Responding to these claims, a member of the APC said the comments by the PDP member were just ‘a fluke’.

“It is known that when people lose election they try to attribute it to one issue or the other. The election was free fair and transparent.

“The claim that the primary election list of the APC was doctored was not true. The issues around delegate list was a propaganda to discredit the conduct of the primary election,” a spokesman for the APC in Ondo State, Abayomi Adesanya, said.

An election observer group had said that the process was credible based on observation at different polling units.

It said over 340 observers were deployed to different polling units.