The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), an human rights organization in Nigeria has called on the Commonwealth Secretariat to apply the Commonwealth Charter to hold the Nigerian Government to account, including by suspension, for widespread & persistent attacks on #EndSARS protesters and rights violations.
In a letter sent on Saturday, October 10, SERAP asked Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of Commonwealth to urgently consider recommending the suspension of Nigeria from the Commonwealth to the Heads of Government, the Commonwealth Chair-in-office, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as Head of the Commonwealth.
SERAP stated that such action by the Commonwealth will push the Nigerian government to respect the Commonwealth’s values of human rights, transparency, accountability and the rule of law.
It says “A government that attacks its own citizens for peaceful protests severely undermines its credibility as a democratic regime that respects human rights and the rule of law.”
“Respect for Commonwealth values is essential for citizens to trust Commonwealth institutions.
“The Commonwealth ought to make clear that respect for human rights, transparency and the rule of law is fundamental to the integrity, functioning and effectiveness of its institutions.
“Persistent attacks on protesters have constrained the ability of the people to hold authorities and public officials to account for alleged corruption, and rights abuses, thereby causing serious hardships for ordinary Nigerians & undermining their rights, livelihood & dignity.
“The ongoing events in Nigeria demonstrate the authorities’ determination to suppress all forms of peaceful dissent. There are well-founded fears that the human rights situation in Nigeria will deteriorate even further if urgent action is not taken to address it.”
SERAP is an human rights organization that focuses specifically on economic and social rights in Nigeria and on anti-corruption work, addressing all four areas where change is needed:
The organization aims to use human rights law to encourage the Nigerian government and others to address developmental and human rights challenges such as corruption, poverty, inequality and discrimination.