Femi Falana, a prominent human rights activist and lawyer, on Sunday criticised the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government for purportedly not taking appropriate measures to halt the killings of Nigerians in South Africa.
According to a statement released to journalists, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, lamented that the Nigerian government “has not gone beyond the regular condemnation” of the killings.
Falana's chiding comes days after another Nigerian, Chibuzo Nwankwo, was murdered in the Southern African country.
The senior lawyer also condemned the South African government alongside the Nigerian government for not settling the case judicially through the African Court of Human Rights.
According to him, the governments of Nigeria and South Africa have “deliberately refused to accept the jurisdictional competence of the African court on human and people’s rights by making a declaration in line with article 34 (6) of the protocol for the establishment of the court.”
“Thus, by refusing to make the declaration, both countries have made it impossible for their nationals whose human rights have been violated by state actors to seek legal redress in the court,” the statement read.
“On its own part, the government of Nigeria has not gone beyond the regular condemnation of the brutal killings. Up till now, the government has not deemed it fit to take bold diplomatic measures to guarantee the security of the life and property of every Nigerian citizen living in South Africa.
“However, the lackadaisical attitude of the Nigerian government to the brutalisation of Nigerian immigrants in South Africa is not surprising in view of the impotence of the State to curb the incessant killing of innocent citizens at home by terrorists, herders, armed robbers, kidnappers and other bandits.”
Falana asked the African court to open an inquiry into the killings and proffer appropriate recommendations to halt the killings.
He said, “We are therefore compelled to call on the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights to conduct an enquiry into the killings of African immigrants in South Africa and make appropriate recommendations to the African Union."
At least 121 Nigerians are reported to have been killed in South Africa in the past 18 months.