#EndSARS: Practical implications of the protests on Nigerian citizens
In conversation with Ayodele Sogunro
The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, condemns police brutality and human rights violations in Nigeria. These violations are in response to demonstrations by Nigerians expressing concerns about gross human rights violations by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), particularly by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a tactical unit within the NPF designed to tackle incidents of armed robbery in Nigeria.
In today’s episode we pick up from last week’s conversation on #EndSARS: The need to end police reform and justice for victims of police brutality in Nigeria. In this week’s episode, we discuss with Ayodele Sogunro (from the Centre for Human Rights), the contested issues surrounding the #EndSARS protests. The discussion assesses the accountability measures which have been taken by the Nigerian government to address protestors’ concerns. Furthermore, the conversation brings to light the real implications of these protests for people at the forefront of the #EndSARS movement. Calls to involve the International Criminal Court (ICC) in investigating the extra-judicial killings of the #LekkiMassacre have been made by Nigerian citizens and we seek to understand whether the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) might be a better option under the circumstances.
Ayodele Sogunro is a Nigerian writer and lawyer and the Manager of the SOGIESC Unit at the Centre for Human Rights in the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. He is a legal and policy analyst with over ten years of field and courtroom experience in human rights law and advocacy in the African human rights system. Before joining the Centre, he was the Senior Legal Advisor with the Initiative for Equal Rights, a LGBT+ NGO in West Africa. He is also currently undertaking his doctoral studies at the Centre. His focus is on a critical legal studies perspective of LGBTIQ+ issues in Nigeria, around political homophobia, socio-economic issues, and the need by advocates to understand wider state dynamics of homophobia and transphobia in systems of power. His books include the short stories The Wonderful Life of Senator Boniface and other Sorry Tales and the collection of essays Everything in Nigeria is Going to Kill You. His literary essay, ‘One more nation bound in freedom: Themes from the Nigerian “anti-gay” law’ was shortlisted for the 2016 Gerald Kraak Award for African Writing. He has written an article ‘Why #EndSARS won’t quit’ in relation to the protests.
Ayodele Sogunro’s blog: www.ayosogunro.com
This conversation was recorded on 29 October 2020.
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