Herdsmen killings: SERAP Tasks Buhari on victims

 

 

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that any effort by his government to prevent and combat attacks by herdsmen across the country is grounded in the rights of victims of unlawful killings and their families.

In a statement on Wednesday signed by SERAP deputy director, Timothy Adewale, the organization said so far, attempts by the government to address the persistent attacks by herdsmen in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa states and other parts of the country had overlooked the plight of the victims and their families.

“But it has to be made clear that victims of attacks apparently by herdsmen are entitled to effective remedies regardless of whether they bring their claims against the government in an individual or collective capacity”, it noted.

The organization said, “It is an imperative demand of justice that the responsibility of the perpetrators of the unlawful killings and destruction of property be clearly established and the rights of the victims and their families sustained to the fullest possible extent. Establishing a trust fund for victims of attacks by herdsmen will be an important first step towards justice for victims and their families.

“Victims’ right to an effective remedy and reparation is a legally enforceable human right and not a matter of charity. It is no coincidence that the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended) and human rights instruments such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Nigeria is a state party refer to victims’ right to effective remedies, including access to justice, reparation and guarantee of non-repetition.

“As the President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, SERAP believes that Buhari is in a powerful position to end the unlawful killings and destruction of property apparently by herdsmen across the country if he really wants to do so. Buhari needs to speak directly to Nigerians and particularly to the countless victims and their families.

“Continuous refusal of Buhari to speak directly to Nigerians on the matter and visit the states such as Benue, Taraba and Adamawa, that have been most affected by these attacks by herdsmen is feeding into the propaganda that this government may be shielding suspected perpetrators from justice and, more importantly, undermines the rule of law and facilitates continuing attacks.

“Under international law, a victim is defined as anyone who suffers individual or collective harm (or pain) such as physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, economic loss, or generally any impairment of human rights as a result of acts or omissions that constitute gross violations of human rights, or serious violations of humanitarian law norms.

“A victim does not necessarily have to be the person that has suffered the harm, as a dependent or a member of the immediate family or household of the person that has directly suffered harm can indirectly be characterised as a victim.

“Indeed, the Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power provides some guarantees for victims (including family members of direct victims), such as those that suffer ‘substantial impairment of their fundamental rights’ through acts or omissions of governments.”

Bricks

Nigeria's Oko Emmanuel Ekpo popularly known as Emma Bricks Oko is without doubt one of the country's best, versatile young broadcasters in the broadcasting industry today. The multi talented and award winning media personality is the most creative man among his peers in the industry. He has established a strong and authoritative voice in a career that has traversed both Radio & TV studios, diverse beats as Reporter/Editor and Newscaster. He has also ventured into the BUSSINESS of content creation as Creative writer, besides being very successful as a PR executive, promoter, producer, actor and event/artistes manager. Emma Bricks Oko was born on the 15th of June in Yala local government of Cross River State Nigeria. He gained fame and recognition in the media through his first TV programme "Nigerian Roads" in the late 2000s and was nominated for the 2011 NBC awards. He has bagged different awards and ambassadorial recognition which include: -Most outspoken Journalist, 2008 by (Department of Mass Communication, Fed. Poly, Bida) -Media Cancer Ambassador, 2012 by (Fed. ministry of health) -Nigerian Goodwill Ambassador, 2014 by (Nigerian Goodwill Ambassador Agency). After working with different broadcasting firms within the nation's capital which include the following, Independent Television, (ITV), Dasamal Television Network (DTN), love FM and Energy TV, he has registered brickswrites.com.ng, a blogging network which will help him to get to the heterogeneous audience as the world has gone digital in broadcasting.

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