Tuesday, January 31, 2012

USA Africa Dialogue Series - SNG sues Jonathan, Azazi for stopping protests

SNG sues Jonathan, Azazi for stopping protests

February 1, 2012 by Ade Adesomoju 48 Comments
The Save Nigeria Group, one of the organisers of the protests against the removal of subsidy on fuel in Ojota, Lagos, has sued President Goodluck Jonathan, the National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Azazi and four others for allegedly violating their rights in the course of the protest.

The group, convened by Pastor Tunde Bakare, commenced the protest on January 9, at the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota, as a follow up to the strike action declared by the organised Labour to protest against the subsidy removal.

 SNG alleged that it had wanted to continue the protest on January 16 when the combined team of men of the Nigeria Army and the police were deployed by the respondents "harassed, intimidated, tortured and restricted" the movement of its members and supporters into the park.

 In the suit filed before a Lagos High Court, the applicant also urged the court to award the sum of N100m against the respondents as damages for the violation of its rights. The group also sought the court to order the respondents to publish an apology in at least three national newspapers.

It stated that the security forces deployed in the park acted as agents of or on the instructions of the respondents to deny it, its members and supporters to the Gani Fawehinmi Park, in Ojota, "for the purpose of continuing their peaceful protest."

 The other respondents are the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin; Chief of Army Staff,  Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika; Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar; and the Attorney General of the Federation, Bello Adoke.

The applicant argued that the action of respondents its supporters' and members' rights to freedom of expression, including the freedom to hold opinions, freedom of movement, personal dignity and peaceful assembly and association.

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