Sowore: Groups Condemn Attacks by DSS Operative on Protesters
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned “violent attacks on peaceful protesters demanding the release of Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare as ordered by the court.”
In a statement today by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “We have seen a video footage apparently showing the use of lethal and excessive force by Nigerian security agents against peaceful protesters demanding the release of Sowore and Bakare as ordered by the court. We condemn the ruthless violence and shocking abuses against protesters.”
The statement read in part: “@UNHumanRights @UN_SPExperts @davidakaye should urgently respond to the rule of law and human rights crisis in Nigeria and call on the authorities to end this brutality. It is high time to ramp up monitoring on the situation in Nigeria and to send investigators to the country at once.”
“The use of lethal and excessive force violates the very core of Nigeria’s constitution and international human rights obligations. This should end immediately, and those responsible should be held to account.”
“Nigerian authorities should immediately obey ALL court orders and specifically the court order for the release of Sowore and Bakare from arbitrary detention.”
SERAP Deputy Director
HURIWA condemns non-release of Sowore by DSS and forceful quelling of protest
The prominent civil Rights Advocacy group – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the Kano state police command over the extra judicial killing of a 26-year old ‘boy’ Abdulkadir Nasir who was surrendered to the police voluntarily by his father – Nasiru Madobi.
HURIWA also condemned as abominable and unconstitutional the failure of the Department of State Services (DSS) to release the duo of Omoyele SOWORE and Olawale Bakare from the dungeons of the Secret police even after they met the stiff bail conditions slammed on them by the Federal High Court presided over by Ijeoma Ojukwu(Ms).
HURIWA also condemned the reported use of lethal weapons by the DSS to disperse activists who had gathered on the DSS’ premises to demand that the DSS obey the Federal High court orders and release SOWORE and Bakers.
“HURIWA is hereby urging the European Union and the United States government to impose sanctions on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari which has become autocratic and has serially disrespected binding decisions of the competent courts of law which is provided for in Section 6 of the Constitution.
HURIWA specifically affirmed that the relevant constitutional provisions confers the judicial powers of Nigeria on the courts as stated unambiguously in Section 6 thus:” (1) The judicial powers of the Federation shall be vested in the courts to which this section relates, being courts established for the Federation. (2) The judicial powers of a State shall be vested in the courts to which this section relates, being courts established, subject as provided by this Constitution, for a State. (3) The courts to which this section relates, established by this Constitution for the Federation and for the States, specified in subsection (5) (a) to (1) of this section, shall be the only superior courts of record in Nigeria; and save as otherwise prescribed by the National Assembly or by the House of Assembly of a State, each court shall have all the powers of a superior court of record. (4) Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this section shall be construed as precluding:- (a) the National Assembly or any House of Assembly from establishing courts, other than those to which this section relates, with subordinate jurisdiction to that of a High Court; (b) the National Assembly or any House of Assembly, which does not require it, from abolishing any court which it has power to establish or which it has brought into being. (5) This section relates to:- (a) the Supreme Court of Nigeria; (b) the Court of Appeal; (c) the Federal High Court; (d) the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; (e) a High Court of a State (f) the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; (g) a Sharia Court of Appeal of a State; (h) the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; (i) a Customary Court of Appeal of a State; (j) such other courts as may be authorized by law to exercise jurisdiction on matters with respect to which the National Assembly may make laws; and (k) such other court as may be authorized by law to exercise jurisdiction at first instance or on appeal on matters with respect to which a House of Assembly may make laws. (6) The judicial powers vested in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section – (a) shall extend, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this constitution, to all inherent powers and sanctions of a court of law (b) shall extend, to all matters between persons, or between government or authority and to any persons in Nigeria, and to all actions and proceedings relating thereto, for the determination of any question as to the civil rights and obligations of that person; (c) shall not except as otherwise provided by this Constitution, extend to any issue or question as to whether any act of omission by any authority or person or as to whether any law or any judicial decision is in conformity with the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy set out in Chapter II of this Constitution; (d) shall not, as from the date when this section comes into force, extend to any action or proceedings relating to any existing law made on or after 15th January, 1966 for determining any issue or question as to the competence of any authority or person to make any such law.”
The Rights group said the Inspector General of police Mohammed Adamu should be compelled by President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly headed by senate president Ahmed Lawan to immediately arrest all the police operatives responsible for the brutal killing of the Kano boy so they are prosecuted and legally sanctioned for premeditated murder. HURIWA is also worried that Nigeria has speedily regressed to a state of impunity and lawlessness by armed security forces.
The Rights group also wants the National Assembly to constitute a special police detention facilities’ audit teams to undertake forensic audits of all police cells with a view to shutting down all identifiable “death camps” administered by the police whereby suspects are held, tortured and extra-legally executed by the police.
HURIWA canvassed that credible civil Rights advocacy groups should be included in the police audits teams that will undertake the assessment tours of police detention centres all across Nigeria to find out the torture chambers administered by the Nigerian Police Force.
HURIWA lamented that despite the existence of abundance of knowledge of ‘execution and torture chambers and cells’ even known to the public in which hundreds of suspects may have been extra-legally slaughtered by the police, the National Assembly and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) are not in a hurry to transparently expose these evils, name, shame and prosecute indicted police operatives.
HURIWA in a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, recalled that police in Kano TORTURED to death a 26-year-old man, Abdulkadir Nasiru, after his father took him to police station for questioning even as HURIWA gathered from media reports that the father handed over the son to the Madobi Police Station after policemen went to his residence in search of him over a case of neighborhood gang fight.
HURIWA recalled that Madobi, the father of the deceased told the media that as a law-abiding citizen, when his son returned home he took him voluntarily to the police station for interrogation.
HURIWA quoted the media as reporting the bereaved father as stating that“A quarrel ensued when a policeman started slapping and beating him in my presence after an argument. When another officer joined the quarrel to beat him, he started retaliating.”
HURIWA recalled further that the father stated to the media that three more policemen soon took sticks to beat his son to a pulp and added that the situation made me leave the police station immediately as I could not stand the pain of seeing my son being beaten on a simple matter that can be resolved among parents.
HURIWA states thus: “This classical case of targeted execution of the 26 year old Citizen demonstrates the lack of respect for the sanctity of human life which is covered under section 33(1) of the Nigerian constitution and states thus: “Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.” The United Nations rapporteur on torture and extra-legal executions had on two occasions’ indicted Nigerian security forces including police over wanton extrajudicial killings of suspects but till date nothing has changed.”
HURIWA also stated that the implication is that most people wouldn’t trust the Nigerian police force with information of any known crime since their operatives have become torture experts and extra legal executioners in flagrant disregard of the Constitution.