A popular Lagos-based lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje has filed a N10 billion fundamental rights suit against President Muhammadu Buhari and Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, over the shooting of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos.
On October 20, men in army uniform stormed the tollgate where #EndSARS protesters had gathered for 13 days and dispersed them with gunshots.
The incident triggered widespread criticism, and although the army had denied shooting at the protesters, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos state governor, in an interview with CNN on Monday, said the CCTV footage at the toll gate shows that the military is responsible for the shooting.
In the suit filed at the federal high court in Lagos, Ogungbeje is asking for a declaration that “the brutal shooting and killing and use of brute force against unarmed, defenceless and peaceful protesters/Nigerian citizens engaging in the #ENDSARS peaceful protest on October 20, 2020, at the Lekki tollgate was illegal, unlawful, undemocratic, oppressive, wicked and unconstitutional.”
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According to him, the protesters were deprived of their “right to life, fair hearing, right to peaceful assembly and association guaranteed under sections 33, 36, 38, 39 and 40 of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999″.
Ogungbeje is praying the court to compel the defendants to “immediately pay N10bn compensation to all the victims of the mindless shooting and brutal killing at Lekki tollgate”.
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He is also praying for an order “compelling the immediate prosecution of all the culpable security agents, soldiers and persons directly or indirectly or remotely involved in the dastardly shooting and killing of unarmed, defenceless and peaceful protesters/victims of the #EndSARS peaceful protests at the Lekki tollgate on the 20th of October, 2020″.
Aside from Buhari and Buratai, joined as defendants in the suit are the federal government, the Nigerian army, chief of defence staff, inspector-general of police, Nigeria police force, Department of State Services (DSS), director-general of DSS, Lagos state government, attorney-general of Lagos state, and the attorney-general of the federation.