Blame National Assembly, judiciary for political prisoners, says HURIWA
As Nigerians join billions of humanity globally to mark the beginning of the year 2018, Nigerians have been asked to blame the docility of both the National Assembly and the Judiciary for the executive lawlessness that resulted in the existence of many known and unknown prisoners of conscience in Nigeria.
A pro-democracy and non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) made this assertion in a New Year message to Nigerians even as it condemned the Presidency and the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice headed by Abubakar Malami for the gross abuses of the constitutional liberties of hundreds of citizens detained Illegally by the Department of State Services (DSS); Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Nigeria Police Force.
HURIWA also decried the extremely high rate of extralegal executions of suspects by members of the security forces just as it called for wide -ranging actions to ensure that all those operatives responsible for the wide-ranging cases of extralegal killings are brought to justice.
HURIWA said every year, at least 3000 suspects are killed by security forces through extra judicial means. The group condemned the reinstatement of an assistant commissioner of Police in Abuja who led the armed squad that wasted six young Nigerian traders based in Apo, Abuja after a charade of a judgment by the Chief judge of FCT, Mr. Ishaq Bello.
HURIWA in a statement endorsed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss. Zainab Yusuf, said it was shameful that citizens are hauled into dungeons called detention centers by supposed law enforcement agencies even against extant judicial pronouncements through constitutionally binding court orders recognised under various statutes and section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended).
The group said the notoriety of the DSS in carrying out arbitrary arrests and extralegal detentions has become increasingly phenomenal.
Citing the cases of the erstwhile National Security Adviser to the President, Colonel Sambo Dasuki; the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria Sheikh Ibrahim Elzakzakky and his wife; and the numerous alleged detainees being kept in the underground dungeons of different security forces including Army; DSS; SARS of the Nigerian Police Force and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the group blamed the lack-lustre approach to their respective constitutionally guaranteed checks and balances by both the National Assembly and the Judiciary for these persistently perennial violations of human rights and constitutional norms.
The group said that obedience to binding court orders is the kernel of constitutional democracy and wondered why such a government could be rewarded with a seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council as was the case during a recent election at the United Nations.
HURIWA said it was unimaginable that the nation’s judiciary did not stage symbolic protest or embark on a strike to demonstrate her disdain for the brazen violations of the court orders as displayed by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The Rights group also said the National Assembly which enjoys the powers of constitutional impeachment of a misbehaving head of the executive branch of government has pandered to the partisan whims and capricious, overbearing influences of the executive branch of government and allowed the sanctity of the Nigerian Constitution to be desecrated by the President through the wanton disobedience of validly issued orders of higher competent courts of law. It therefore asked these bodies to embrace her constitutional powers or watch as constitutional democracy collapses under the tyranny of a power-drunk Presidency.
HURIWA also carpeted the deliberately weakened national institutions such as the National Human Rights Commission; Public Complaints Commission for sleeping on duty whilst the fundamental human rights of Nigerians guaranteed under the constitution are flagrantly violated with shocking speed by the executive.
HURIWA also lamented the abysmal human right situations in some states of the country whereby the state houses of assemblies are in the pockets of the all powerful but corrupt minded governors.