The International Criminal Court (ICC) has acknowledged receipt of a criminal complaint by a group named Make Nigeria Better Initiative (MNBI), against Lagos-based lawyer, Femi Falana, over his alleged role in the escalation of violence during the EndSARS protests in Nigeria.
According to the group behind the criminal complaint, if found guilty of instigating the mass action that led to the killing of innocent citizens, wanton destruction of properties and other heinous crimes against humanity, the self-styled human rights activist would have to cough out $2billion.
This, according to the complainant, would be used as punitive damages for causing death, injury and maiming of several citizens as well as wanton destruction of public and private properties between 3rd October 2020 till 21st October 2020.
According to a reply signed by the Head of Information and Evidence Unit of the ICC, Mark P. Dillon, the Communication has entered the Registry of the Court and will be considered accordingly with the procedure and Rome Statute of the ICC.
The complaint dated 4th November 2020 was addressed to the Office of Madame Fatou Bensouda, The Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC).
Filed by Joseph Nwaegbu, Esq. a Senior Associate of Pathfind Attorneys on behalf of Make Nigeria Better Initiative (MNBI), the complaint said the role played by Mr Falana before, during and after the violent exercise is not only ignoble but criminal.
”On the recent #EndSARS Protests which turned violent across the country, we beg to submit that the role played by Mr Falana before, during and after what observers described as the mother of all protests in Nigeria is not only ignoble but criminal”, the group said.
The group also accused the Lagos lawyer of spreading fake news to further incite the youths in the country against the government which killings and destructions of properties.
”We have seen how the type of incitement spearheaded by Mr Falana worked in Rwanda and other parts of the world and the resultant effect was genocide. In the case of Nigeria, the misguided youths who acted based on Falana’s posture, character and utterances employed crude methods to illegally murder about 22 (Twenty Two) police officers in cold blood during the #EndSARS Protests that lasted between the period 3rd October 2020 till 21st October 2020. We strongly believe that Mr Falana is a highly placed Nigerian citizen, senior lawyer and politician that without the timely intervention of the ICC he will get away with justice in this case.
”At Oyigbo Police Station in Lagos alone, a total of 3 (Three) police officers were killed and roasted like Christmas goats with their facilities destroyed”, he said.
The group said it has attached sensitive pieces of evidence on the allegations raised to drive home their argument that Mr Femi Falana, SAN, ought to be prosecuted and sanctioned.
In the criminal complaint, the complainant listed policemen killed and government property destroyed as casualties of the protest which lasted for about three weeks.
”Despite the killing of innocent citizens and security agents alike with reckless abandon in the aftermath of the #EndSARS Protest, MNBI believes that it is rather reprehensible, appalling and criminal for Falana SAN to keep publishing in some online platforms from 25th October 2020 till this moment to trivialized the damage caused to innocent citizens in Nigeria. We submit that this again should form a basis why he is liable for investigation and subsequent punishment by this Honourable Courting the last hope of common men worldwide,” MNBI added.
”It is our further submission that what Falana is doing gives room for suspicion that another brand of the terrorist group may be created to hide under the cover of “human rights activists” whilst sustaining the evils alreadybedevillingg our people through the activities of the disbanded Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Boko Haram and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
”We therefore, urge that the unrepentant Femi Falana SAN who has decided to permanently pitch himself against humanity in Nigeria be investigated, arrested and made to face the full wrath of international criminal law irrespective of his status, wealth or connection.
”Overall, we submit that prima facie cases of instigating violent protests that led to the killing of innocent citizens, wanton destruction of properties and other heinous crimes against humanity have been established against Femi Falana SAN vide this Criminal Complaint for which the ICC can investigate, prosecute and mete out appropriate sanctions to him”.