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Daily post reports that the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has launched a legal action against President Muhammadu Buhari government and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

SERAP dragged them to the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja over the “brutal crackdown, repression, and grave violations and abuses of the human rights.”

The body, in suit number ECW/CCJ/APP/20/20, accused Wike of using COVID-19 as a pretext to step up repression and systematic abuses against the people of Rivers State.

It said this included demolitions, mass arbitrary detention, mistreatment, forced evictions, and imposing pervasive controls on daily life.

SERAP complained that Wike was using Executive Orders 1 and 6, 2020 to abuse the rights to liberty and freedom, contrary to Nigeria’s international obligations, including under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

SERAP said that Wike and his government failed to respect, protect and ensure the constitutionally and internationally guaranteed human rights of the people of his state.

It noted that the federal government, being the signatory to ECOWAS treaties and protocols, cannot escape its responsibility to ensure that the human rights guaranteed under human rights treaties to which Nigeria is a party.

SERAP explains that suing the federal government alongside Wike “is entirely consistent with article 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which provides that a state may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty.”

The rights group is asking the court for an order of injunction to “restrain and stop Governor Wike from further using, applying and enforcing executive orders 1 and 6 or any other executive orders to harass, arbitrarily arrest, detain and demolish property of the people of Rivers state.”

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