A prominent civil rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, Tuesday called on Nigerians to rise up and defend their human rights or be prepared to be enslaved forever, following what it identified as the unprecedented upsurge in lawlessness, political impunity and the will to overpower by the tiny political class in Nigeria.
It expressed concern over “the growing lawlessness by some outgoing governors who are behaving like emperors determined to financially cripple in coming elected administrations in those states” and called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as well as the Department of State Services, DSS, to take special interest in what is happening in Oyo and Imo States.
The rights group backed the claim by ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo that there could be a hidden agenda by armed Fulani herdsmen backed by top government offices, and asked leaders of all ethno-religious groups to convoke a national security dialogue to compel both the Nigerian government and world leaders at the United Nations to protect the diverse ethno-religious people who are at the receiving end of a well-coordinated genocide by armed Fulani herdsmen.
The National Coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, who spoke while addressing journalists in Abuja, disclosed that the manifestation of crass impunity by members of the Nigerian political class are in two forms namely in micro and micro-levels.
Citing an instance, he stated that his group has dragged a House of Representatives elect from Delta State, Chief Ndudi Elumelu to the office of the Inspector General of Police, IGP, and that of the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, to demand the investigation of a complaint brought to its attention by a distressed citizen, Mr. Elue Nnabuife Anthony of Asaba in Oshimili south local government area of Delta, who said the politician allegedly took away his lawfully-wedded wife and threatened to kill him should he continue to demand justice for the alleged breach of his marital rights allegedly violated with impunity by the politician.
HURIWA stated that Anthony made the reports of alleged nefarious acts of the top Delta state politicians as follows: “We write to intimate you about the alleged nefarious activities of the named culprit who having connived with our client’s legally married wife to divorce our client is now head bend on sending him to an early grave for no just cause.
“It is Mr. Nnabuife Anthony’s story in the year 2003 that he got married to Mrs. Winifred Nwakuso Onwuka and the marriage is blessed with two girls namely; Miss. Princess Ifechukwu Elue age 13 years and Miss. Fumnanya Ebele Elue age 10 years and he was living happily with his family till sometime between the year 2010 and 2011 when he returned from London with his family and began to notice some unusual closeness between his lawfully married wife and the above mentioned culprit and when he tried to talk to the above named culprit who is his brother from the same clan (Ezechima Clan) over this alleged unwarranted closeness with his wife which is an abomination in their community, the culprit allegedly started threatening his life, boasting that he will influence his wife to divorce him and will use a Federal job appointment under the health ministry in Abuja to induce her to do that but citizen Anthony never took his alleged threat and boast seriously till sometime in the year 2013 when he returned from his London business journey that he embarked in 2012 and discovered to his shock and chagrin that his lovely wife who was living happily with him before he left the country for London in 2012 in pursuit of a greener pasture for his family well-being had gone to court to divorce him and allegedly eloped with his two daughters from Asaba where he left them to the house of the above named culprit who had earlier alleged boasted of it”
“Elue Nnabuife Anthony further alleged that after discovering the state of things upon his return from London and he made effort to access his lovely children in accordance with divorce order absolute of the court which unequivocally have him the right to have access to his children whenever he wishes, the above named culprit in connivance with his ex-wife, Mrs. Winifred Nwakuso Onwuka , refused him access to his children which necessitated him filing a contempt proceeding to enforce the right of access to his children before the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja High Court wherein Justice O.O. Goodluck made an order which made it possible for his two daughters to spend a weekend with him sometime in the year 2017 and he stated equally that while his daughters namely Miss. Princess Ifechukwu Elue and Miss. Fumnanya Ebele Elue were with him for that two days, they confined in him an allegation that Hon. Chief Ndudi Elumelu usually put blue-films and be dancing naked in their presence and on many occasions he will be chasing them around inside the room while he is allegedly naked under the influence of suspected substance and alcohol and touching their private parts in an attempt to defile them and that they have reported this indecent assault on them severally to their mother who will always treat the matter with glove hands that he is now troubled over the state of his daughters life’s whose whereabouts since then till date is unknown to him”.
“It is premised on these foregoing facts and coupled with the fact that citizen Anthony is a law abiding citizen who would not like to resort to self-help that we are making this clarion call to IGP/NHRC to swiftly and decisively initiate a high powered investigation into this matter that will necessitate the following:
a) Arresting if need be the culprit and his cohort before his children will be defiled at this their tender ages;
b) Initiating criminal prosecution of these culprits to serve as a deterrent to prospective/intending culprits.”
Continuing with examples of impunity at the micro level, HURIWA condemned “the continuous unleashing of bloody violence in unprecedented scale on farmers and villagers in south west; Kaduna, Delta, Enugu, Taraba and Benue state by armed Fulani herdsmen just as we condemned the tendency of the presidency to continue to defend the association like Miyetti Allah Cattle Owners Association (MACBAN) which is the body that consistently defended the violent attacks waged on farming communities by armed Fulani herdsmen. The recent claim by the presidential spokesman Garba Shehu that Miyetti Allah is similar to other regional peace loving platforms such as OHANAEZE; Arewa and Afenifere is the height of political impunity and executive rascality”.
The rights group condemned the alleged inaction of the Enugu State Governor, “who has persistently failed to defend his people from bloody attack by armed Fulani herdsmen on many occasions”, disclosing that it will send a letter to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to demand that he takes action to prosecute the armed Fulani gangsters or he would be dragged to the international criminal court in The Hague, Netherlands for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity.
Onwubiko said further, “HURIWA does not support arm struggle as a way of fighting back to push back the attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen. We demand that Nigerians publicly demand immediate actions to arrest, prosecute armed Fulani herdsmen and to categorize Miyetti Allah as a terrorist group.
“The Nigerian police that has constantly paraded some of these well-armed hoodlums must be compelled alongside the offices of Federal Attorney General and State Attorneys General to prosecute all the armed hoodlums arrested over the past months for acts of kidnapping, banditry and crimes against humanity.”
HURIWA which applauded the arrests of these armed violent criminals, kidnappers and bandits by the police, has however stated that the most lawful thing to do is to prosecute them and impose the harshest capital punishment to serve as deterrent as a way of stopping the widening spectre of violent kidnappings.
“We commend the EFCC for stopping the outgoing governor of Imo state Rochas Okorocha from allegedly looting the N8 billion Paris Club refund paid to Imo state. We support the decision of EFCC to probe, arrest, detain and prosecute Rochas Okorocha over alleged economic devastation of Imo state as alleged by EFCC. We are going to name and shame any Federal High Court Judge who goes ahead to frustrate EFCC from prosecuting outgoing Imo state governor.
“We are writing to the incoming governor of Imo State to retrieve all the allegedly looted assets of Imo State by the outgoing administration just as we ask Mr. President not to stand in the way of the Imo State people and government to retrieve every asset allegedly stolen.
“We condemn in totality the frivolous donation of Imo State health facilities to certain individuals and groups masquerading as churches and security forces as announced by Rochas Okorocha. We ask that Imo State newly built hospital be handed over to the incoming government one-half of the people. This latest act of political impunity in Imo State must never be allowed to stand.”
HURIWA ended by condemning the political impunity by the authority of the National Assembly which went against section 22 of the constitution to impose some extra legal guidelines for accreditation of journalists to cover the parliament, stressing that “outrageously illegal requirements” must be voided as section 22 of the constitution says “The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people.”
Noting also that the freedom of information act of 2015 is against such illegality, Onwubiko said, “the National Assembly by these so-called new accreditation requirements has converted the National Assembly to a National hall of shame and a political secret court which offends all-knowing norms of civility and constitutional democracy must be withdrawn immediately.”