Nigerian(Ip): The Economic Community of West African States Court (ECOWAS)' has ruled against the Nigerian Government for its excessive use of force against peaceful protesters known as the EndSARS protest at Lekki Tollgate in Lagos State of Southwestern of the country in October 2020.

Iran Press/Africa: The court condemned the Nigerian government’s response to the peaceful protests, noting the excessive and lethal force used by security forces. The court found that live rounds were fired into the crowd of unarmed protesters, causing numerous casualties.

This, it said, constituted a breach of multiple international human rights standards, including Articles 1, 5, 6, 9, 10, and 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

On 20 October 2020 at about 6:50 pm, members of the Nigerian Army attacked a large gathering of civilians who were protesting, calling for the government to take action on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad police popularly known as SARS who were accused of human rights violations. The attack by the soldiers killed 50 unarmed civilians and injured many.

The Nigerian Army initially denied involvement in the shooting but later stated that it had deployed soldiers to the tollgate on the orders of the then governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who denied that he gave the order, and said the military was receiving orders from the President.
The ECOWAS court, in its lead judgment that was delivered by the Judge Rapporteur, Justice Koroma Mohamed Sengu, dismissed the applicants’ allegation that their right to life as guaranteed under Article 4 of the ACPHR, was violated.
However, the ECOWAS Court ordered the Federal Government of Nigeria to pay each of the applicants the sum of 2 million Naira as compensation for violations of their security of person, prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association, duty to investigate human rights violations, and right to effective remedy.

Nigerian security forces are known for attacking and killing unarmed civilians during peaceful protests. In December 2015, hundreds of unarmed Shi'a Muslim civilians were massacred in Zaria, the Northern part of the country when the Nigerian Army under the administration of former president Muhammadu Buhari attacked the residence of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and Husainiyya in Zaria, where Shi'a Community conduct their religious activities.

World human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Islamic Human Rights Commission condemned the massacre against the Shi'a Muslims and called for the prosecution of the perpetrators by the International Criminal Court but nothing has been done up till now despite much evidence.204

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