. Condemns IGP For Ordering Mass Shooting Of IPOB
A civil rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has said that it is an irredeemable illogicality for the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Alhaji Abubakar Malami to compare the ban on open grazing of cows in the South to a ban on the sale of vehicular spare parts in the North.
“These two items are incomparable because whilst one is sold in an organised shopping mall by traders who pay rents and taxes to state governments, cows that are openly grazed violently invade farm lands and have often caused destruction to farms,” HURIWA said.
Also, the rights group has described as unconstitutional and primitive, the reported directive to the police by the acting Inspector General of Police Usman Alkali Baba to engage in extralegal killing of suspected members of the Indigenous Peoples’ of Biafra (IPOB).
According to the group, the directive by the acting IGP directly offends sections 33 (1) which 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 ” and 36 (5) which provides that: “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 said the implication of the illegal order of the Acting IGP was that the police chief lacked respect for the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended) even as the group said it was aware that already a coalition of well over 200 civil rights bodies was compiling evidence to take the acting IGP to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands to face prosecution for crimes against humanity being perpetrated in the South East by his operatives on his orders.
HURIWA which faulted the AGF for criticising Southern governors for banning open grazing stated : “We are not in any way shocked that the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, a Fulani born lawyer and politician, has attacked Southern governors for taking practical steps to checkmate the rampant invasions of farms in the South by armed Fulani herdsmen. It does appear that a federal attorney general does not understand the laws in such a way that he is mixing up animal rights and human rights. The minister of justice of President Muhammadu Buhari is unaware that the fundamental human rights provisions enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution are not animal rights which is why they are classified as human and not animal rights.
“That the justice minister of Nigeria now speaks for armed Fulani herdsmen is an unmitigated scandal but nevertheless not very strange to us because of our personal experience in written exchanges with the Federal Attorney General and MinisterofJustice Abubakar Malami recently.
“This is because, the same minister had written to us a response saying his office has not prosecuted any alleged armed Fulani herdsmen responsible for the many massacres around Nigeria since 2015 because according to Malami, government has no case file on these herdsmen killing farmers.”
HURIWA recalled vividly that Malami said that the resolve to ban open grazing by southern governors was equivalent to prohibiting spare parts trading in the north.
The rights group recalled that last Tuesday, southern governors resolved to ban open grazing and the movement of cattle by foot, after a meeting in Asaba, Delta State just as the resolutions of the southern governors have been greeted with mixed reactions from different parts of the country.
On the development on Wednesday in an interview on Channels Television, Malami faulted the decision of the southern governors, saying it did not align with the provisions of the constitution.
The attorney-general said the decision “does not hold water” in the context of human rights as enshrined in the constitution.
“It is about constitutionality within the context of the freedoms expressed in our constitution. Can you deny the rights of a Nigerian?” he queried.
“For example: it is as good as saying, perhaps, maybe, the northern governors coming together to say they prohibit spare parts trading in the north.
“Does it hold water? Does it hold water for a northern governor to come and state expressly that he now prohibits spare parts trading in the north?”
Reacting to the justice minister’s outburst HURIWA said it was not surprised because the minister had categorically expressed a lack of interest in prosecting armed Fulani herdsmen.
The rights group said : “Malami stated this in a document with reference number: MJ/LIT/ABJ/HRWAN/440/2020, dated October 7, 2020 that he wouldn’t prosecute armed Fulani herdsmen because there is no case file.
The AGF document, which was signed by the Acting Director, Civil Litigation and Public Law Department, Mrs. Maimuna Shiru on behalf of the minister, was in response to a letter written by an Abuja-based civil rights organisation, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria.
“HURIWA had in a letter signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, asked the minister to prosecute armed Fulani killers.
“However, the minister in his reply claimed the cases in question had no case files and as such he could not prosecute them.
“In his reply to a request by the civil rights group’s demand for the prosecution of the suspects, the minister instructed an acting director in the ministry to write, ‘I am directed by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated August 13, 2020, on the above subject matter and to inform you that your letter has been noted.
“I am further directed to inform your office that the alleged crimes cannot be prosecuted without case files. Please, accept the assurances of the best regards of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice’ “.
After receiving the AGF’s reply, HURIWA wrote a letter to the Ambassador of the United States of America, Mary Beth Leonard.
The letter titled, “Take note that (the) Nigerian Government is unwilling to prosecute mass killers,” was received by the American Embassy in Abuja, on October 14, 2020.
The letter partly reads: “Our appeal is that you use your good offices to demand that the Nigerian President take action to prosecute these mass killers who are roaming about freely even after they were paraded by the Inspector-General of Police.”
HURIWA said the justice minister deliberately feigned ignorance of the Land Use Act which gives the governors control over the lands in their states which implies that legally, governors have the constitutional powers to ban open grazing.
The rights group said the best way to obtain justice for farmers and families murdered by armed Fulani herdsmen was for the justice minister to resign immediately and find a full time job as the lawyer to the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association.
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‘Governor Abiodun Committed To Rule Of Law, Democracy’
The commitment of the administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun in Ogun State to ensure the preservation of the rule of law, battle corruption and, protect the tenets of democracy in the country has again been reiterated.
According to a top functionary of the government, apart from prioritising the welfare of the people, the administration is working hard to deepen the people’s beliefs in the nations democratic process.
Kayode Akinmade, a Chief Consultant on Media to the governor, who spoke while answering questions on a television programme on Friday, said as a law-abiding leader, the governor has always taken recourse to the judiciary to seek redress for himself and his administration whenever the need arises, rather than engage in self-help.
Akinmade stressed that the decision of the governor to approach the court over the matter between him and the impeached chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Area, Wale Adedayo, is a demonstration of his belief in the rule of law and his indisposition to ‘rule of force’.
Adedayo appeared before a Magistrate’s Court at Isabo, Abeokuta, on a petition filed by the state government against him over an earlier allegation of diversion of funds meant for Council Areas in the state. Governor Abiodun is insisting that the former Council boss must prove his allegations against his administration or face the wrath of the law for falsely inciting the people against the government.
Adedayo was arraigned on a two-count charge. According to Akinmade, it is wrong for people to rush to accuse the governor of persecuting Adedayo, who according to him, has “severally apologised to the governor in private while continuing with his ill-motivated misinformation in public.”
“The governor believes that taking Adedayo before the court will deepen our democracy and entrench the rule of law.
“Unlike some other people in Governor Abiodun’s shoes who would readily recourse to sending thugs after and unleashing other forms of violence on those who accused them rightly or wrongly, our governor decided to seek redress in court. I think he should be commended by all and sundry for this. What he is doing is giving Adedayo a chance to prove his allegations,” Akinmade said.
On the allegation by the impeached chairman that the governor is behind his removal, Akinmade said Adedayo was already facing removal from office before he raised the false alarms against the governor. “He has already been accused of several impeachable offences before he wrote the letter alleging that the governor diverted council funds. He had already reached out to the governor and other leaders of the party to help him stave off his removal. It was when he realized he may not survive the impeachment move that he connived with some other unscrupulous politicians in the party to malign the governor and discredit the APC in Ogun State,” Akinmade said.
The media chief added that claims by Adedayo that he got zero allocation since he became chairman of his local government were proved wrong by the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) in the state when the House of Assembly looked into his petition. He recalled that other council chairmen in the state also debunked the allegation and even brought Adedayo with them to apologize to the governor for the wrong allegations.
“But in spite of all these, he didn’t stop his scripted plot to tarnish the image of the governor. Hence, Governor Abiodun approached the court for redress,” he added.
Speaking further, Akinmade recalled that the impeached council boss has been in office for more than two years before making his frivolous and unfounded allegations. “One then wonders why he is raising this alarm now. He claimed zero allocation, but he has been collecting his monthly N3 million security votes regularly. Local government staff in his LGA are not being owed, and primary school teachers there are paid as at when due. We all should be asking him to explain what he meant by zero allocation,” he said.
BREAKING: Kaduna Guber Tribunal Nullifies Election Of Governor Uba Sani
The governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Kaduna on Thursday declared the election of Uba Sani of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as inconclusive and thus nullified the exercise.
The tribunal made the declaration while delivering judgement via Zoom in a petition by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Isah Ashiru, challenging the election of Sani in the March 2023, election.
The tribunal ordered that fresh election be conducted in seven wards in four LGAs of the state.
In Shakeup Of FCT Administration, Wike Sacks Agencies, Parastatals Heads
In a decisive shakeup of the administration of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), its Minister Nyesom Wike, has sacked the heads of 21 parastatals, agencies, and government companies.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Director of Press, Office of the Minister, Anthony Ogunleye, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Ogunleye identified the affected heads of the agencies as follows:
1. Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Abuja Investment Company Ltd
2. CEO/Managing Director, Abuja Markets Management Ltd
3. MD/CEO, Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company
4. CEO/MD, Abuja Property Development Company
5. CEO/MD, Abuja Technology Village Free Trade Zone Company
6. CEO/MD, Abuja Film Village International
7. CEO/MD, Powernoth AICL Equipment Leasing Company Ltd
8. MD, Abuja Broadcasting Corporation
9. MD, Abuja Enterprise Agency
10. General Manager, FCT Water Board
11. Director-General, FCT Emergency Management Agency
12. Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Healthcare Board
13. DG, Hospital Management Board
14. Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Board
15. Director, FCT Scholarship Board
16. Director, FCT Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board
17. Director, Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board
18. Coordinator, Abuja Infrastructure Investment Center
19. Director, FCT Health Insurance Scheme
20. Coordinator, Satellite Towns Development Department
21. Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council
The director of the press said that the affected appointees should hand over the affairs of their offices to the most senior officers in rank.
He added that appointments in the offices would be made in due course.
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