Abuja - The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has justified its decision to drag the Federal Government to the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Community Court in Abuja.
The rights group said this followed the immense suffering of internally displaced people (IDPs) across the country.
The group in a suit No ECW/CCJ/APP/15/15 and filed by their Solicitor, Femi Falana, alleged serious violations of the human rights of IDPs that have fled the Boko Haram crisis mainly in the North East.
"The response by the Nigerian government to the conditions of IDPs is fragmented and inadequate, as illustrated by Defendants' closure of several displacement camps in central and northern areas of Nigeria. Those living in camps are often left without enough food, essential household items or health facilities," Falana said
The official said the increased vulnerability of IDPs across Nigeria demanded accountability and greater level of respect for the full and effective realization and enjoyment of IDPs rights in Nigeria.
"The crisis of security created by forced internal displacement leaves IDPs unprotected, with women and children disproportionately affected. This condition of special vulnerability creates an obligation for the Nigerian government to adopt positive measures to ensure protection and security for IDPs, even when the displacement is caused by the actions of third parties."
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Falana said government had continued to fail and/or neglected to respect, protect, fulfil and promote the human rights of IDPs by among others failing to meet their protection and assistance needs, including social and work relations, and their family dynamics, to provide health facilities to meet their physical and mental health needs.
"The Nigerian government has also failed to systematically assess the conditions and situation of the IDPs across the country. In other words, the Nigerian government has failed to exercise due diligence and to act proactively to assist IDPs, many of whom do not have a home to go back to."
Falana added that the human rights challenges posed by internal displacement in Nigeria showed the Nigerian government was failing to meet its clear obligations and commitments under the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and other international instruments.
Government's response to the lawsuit had not been obtained.
The Boko Haram crisis has displaced about 2 million while some 13 000 people have been killed.
- CAJ News