Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, on Thursday cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari against allowing former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki and the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky to die in detention.
This was as HURIWA pleaded with world leaders to prevail on Buhari to respect the courts by releasing Dasuki and El-Zakzaky who have “languished in underground jails for over three years extralegally.”
HURIWA stated that the, “continuous detention and duplication of charges against the duo by President Muhammadu Buhari is an act of treason against the constitution,” adding that “it is necessary that they are not allowed to die in detention following reports of their deteriorating health conditions.”
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko entitled “El-Zakzaky, Dasuki must not die in detention,” the Rights group also condemned the order by the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu for restricting members of IMN to the Unity Foundation in Abuja.
HURIWA wondered how Adamu whose office was a creation of the constitution has assumed the “ultra vires power of overruling the constitution and the Courts of competent jurisdiction.”
The statement reads: “HURIWA condemned the illegal order issued by Mr. Adamu Mohammed the inspector general of police restricting public protests to only within the confines of unity fountain in Abuja as against the clear provisions of the constitution in chapter four and provisions of the constitution guaranteeing the fundamental freedoms of movement and peaceful assembly, including the binding Appellate` court’s verdict clearly stating that police don’t have any legal right to stop protests and against the most cherished values of constitutional democracy built around the tripod of freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of movement which are even guaranteed by a plethora of global human rights laws.
“Specifically, we express disbelief that the rest of the developed world had looked on as president Buhari has unleashed venoms and vicious attacks against protesters and has adopted extra-legal measures to detain citizens against binding decisions of the courts of competent jurisdiction as empowered by section 36(5) and section (6) which states: “Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be
“Innocent until he is proved guilty;
“Provided that nothing in this section shall invalidate any law by reason only that the law imposes upon any such person the burden of proving particular facts.”
HURIWA stated that the President can’t overrule the constitutionally guaranteed judicial powers of the federation conferred on the courts in accordance with section six as follows: “The judicial powers of the federation is vested in the courts of competent jurisdictions and section 36(6) that “Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be entitled to
“(a) be informed promptly in the language that he understands and in detail of the nature of the offence;
“(b) be given adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence;
“(c) defend himself in person or by legal practitioners of his own choice;
“(d) examine, in person or by his legal practitioners, the witnesses called by the prosecution before any court or tribunal and obtain the attendance and carry out the examination of witnesses to testify on his behalf before the court or tribunal on the same conditions as those applying to the witnesses called by the prosecution; and
“(e) have, without payment, the assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand the language used at the trial of the offence.
“We are shocked that whilst constitutional democracy gradually dies away in Nigeria due to deliberate whittling down of respect for human rights by the current administration, world leaders in U.S.A. and U.K. simply don’t care but pretend to be unaware of the global consequences of a deluge of refugees from Nigeria should democracy collapsed under the heavyweight of tyranny and totalitarianism of the current administration”.