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HURIWA Urges DSS To Set Up Human Rights Desk



'One Chance Robbers' Stole Case File Of Igboho's Aides - DSS

… Wants Police To Do Comprehensive Cleansing Of Operatives

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has disclosed that it got a phone call from the national headquarters of the nation’s secret police, the Department of State Services (DSS), over its recent critique of the agency’s clampdown on independent media.

In a media release by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Affairs Director Miss. Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said the Director of publicity/media of the DSS made the call and defended the activities of the secret police just as the agency faulted HURIWA for doing a report on the DSS attacks on journalists without reaching out to hear its own side of the story.

In a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Media Affairs Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA regretted that on a daily basis security forces apply physical torture and brute force to stop and prevent media practitioners from exercising their functions stipulated in section 22 of the Nigerian Constitution.

READ ALSO: Court Grants Bail To 12 Aides Of Igboho

“No day passes without reports of arrests or physical brutalization of journalists by the Department of State Services (DSS) or the police just as there have been attempts even by the Federal High Court in criminal collusion with the security forces to bar independent journalists from covering litigation of public importance.

“Over a dozen journalists have been killed by police attempting to quell peaceful protests just as these media workers are only just doing their duty as permitted by the Grund Norm.

“We totally condemn this systematic clampdown on journalists. We condemn President Muhammadu Buhari for escalating attacks against the citizen’ enjoyment of freedoms of expression including the illegal ban imposed on the use of Twitter for over a month.

“There are scores of attacks against citizens for posting comments considered damaging to the reputation of political office holders and governors and there are another dozens of Nigerians who are languishing in jails over media rights-related issues.”

The rights group however confirmed that the spokesman of the DSS, Dr. Peter Afunanya initiated a lengthy gentleman call to the rights group during a “friendly” phone conversation in which the DSS said it had always operated within the bounds of the Nigerian law and global practices.

The rights group said : “HURIWA is therefore restating an earlier proposition it made to the DSS to immediately set up a functional and public friendly Human  rights desk with toll-free lines made accessible to Nigerians to lodge complaints against perceived human rights violations committed by the secret police against Nigerians.

“Once more, we urge the hierarchy of the nation’s DSS to set up a human  rights desk whereby the members of the public can report cases of breaches of their constitutionally guaranteed human rights and for this unit or department to interface with credible civil rights organizations for the purposes of man-power and capacity training of the operatives on global best practices and their legal obligations to respect the constitutional rights of the citizens including those in conflict with the law because even section 36 (5) of the Constitution recognizes suspects as being innocent in the eye of the law.

“Specifically,  Section 36 (5) of the GrundNorm states 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.”

READ ALSO: Court Adjourns Trial As DSS Fails To Produce 12 Detained Aides Of Igboho

HURIWA said the DSS “has a notorious reputation as a serial violator of the media rights and therefore is challenging the hierarchy of the agency to operate within the limits of the laws of Nigeria and to particularly open up their activities to the scrutiny of credible civil rights organizations. “We as an organisation have nothing absolutely against the Department of State Services or the Nigerian Police Force nor do we have problems with the Nigerian military.  What worries us is that most operatives of these security services carry out their duties without due regards to the Constitutionally guaranteed human rights of citizens unambiguously captured in several international body of laws and the Nigerian jurisprudence including the GrundNorm of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. These security forces can’t work professionally well if they continue to blatantly refuse to abide by the due process of the law and continue in the egregious violations of the human rights of Nigerians.”

On the police, HURIWA said in light of the revelations about the “gross human rights abuses suffered by Nigerians at the hands of police as revealed by the various judicial investigative panels on the #ENDSARS# Protests, there is the urgency of the now for the Inspector General of Police to carry out a thorough house cleaning because obviously, professional standards of the police are in steady decline and the operatives have become notorious extralegal executioners of citizens in custody.”

The rights group said “the IGP needs to collate, understudy and implement the recommendations emanating from these investigative probes and he needs to understand that the police are in a race against time to reform and become better disciplined professionals.”
HURIWA said the “deliberate delay by the National Assembly and the Executive arm of government to accede to the groundswell of calls for the reforms of the notorious Nigerian Police Force and create State Police has escalated the gross human rights abuses committed by the police all across Nigeria with Imo State as the centre of the use of extra-judicial executions of citizens by the police.”

HURIWA has also advocated the sustenance of the human rights desks within the police just as the rights group said the National Assembly “needs to pass a law compelling the police and security agencies running detention facilities including the NPF, the EFCC, the ICPC, the DSS and the Military to open them up for impromptu investigations and monitoring by credible civil rights groups.”

HURIWA said the “decision to overlook the heightened cases of extralegal killings by security forces is a threat to national security interest of Nigeria.”


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U.K. Magazine Condemns Corruption In Buhari’s Govt, Army, Police



U.K. Magazine Condemns Corruption In Buhari's Govt, Army, Police

The London-based news magazine, The Economist, has condemned what it identified as corruption and ineptness in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, the military and the police.

The 178-year-old magazine said this in an editorial titled, ‘The Crime Scene at the Heart of Africa,’ which was published in its October 23, 2021, issue.

It said due to Buhari’s mismanagement of the economy, food prices had soared while life had become more difficult for Nigerians.

The editorial read in part : “Economic troubles are compounded by a government that is inept and heavy-handed. Mr Buhari, who was elected in 2015, turned an oil shock into a recession by propping up the naira and barring many imports in the hope this would spur domestic production.

“Instead he sent annual food inflation soaring above 20 per cent. He has failed to curb corruption, which breeds resentment. Many Nigerians are furious that they see so little benefit from the country’s billions of petrodollars, much of which their rulers have squandered or stolen.”

The Economist stated that even before COVID-19 last year, Nigeria was already witnessing unprecedented poverty.

The news magazine opined that this economic hardship was fuelling the current insecurity in the country.

“Two factors help explain Nigeria’s increasing instability: a sick economy and a bumbling government. Slow growth and two recessions have made Nigerians poorer, on average, each year since oil prices fell in 2015.

“Before COVID-19, 40 per cent of them were below Nigeria’s extremely low poverty line of about $1 a day. If Nigeria’s 36 states were stand-alone countries, more than one-third would be categorised by the World Bank as

“low-income” (less than $1,045 a head). Poverty combined with stagnation tends to increase the risk of civil conflict,” it argued.

READ ALSO: Establishing Naval Base In Kano Has Worsened Buhari’s Nepotism, Parochialism – Clark

The Economist gave the Nigerian Army a dressing down, describing the military organisation as only strong on paper.

It alleged that the army had ghost workers on its payroll and often sold equipment to insurgents who destabilise the nation.

The news magazine said the Nigeria Police Force was poorly trained and underpaid hence they rob innocent citizens in order to augment their salaries.

The editorial further read: “When violence erupts, the government does nothing or crack heads almost indiscriminately. Nigeria’s Army is mighty on paper. But many of its soldiers are ‘ghosts’ who exist only on the payroll, and much of its equipment is stolen and sold to insurgents. The army is also stretched thin, having been deployed to all of Nigeria’s states.

“The police are understaffed, demoralised and poorly trained. Many supplement their low pay by robbing the public they have sworn to protect.”

It called on the Department of State Services to stop disobeying court orders and release all those being detained illegally.

The Economist described as scandalous the refusal of the Nigerian government to arrest and prosecute any of the security operatives that killed protesters in Lagos last year.

The news magazine said in order to stop the slide towards lawlessness, Nigeria’s government should make its own forces obey the law.

The editorial further read: “Soldiers and police who murder or torture should be prosecuted. That no one has been held accountable for the slaughter of perhaps 15 peaceful demonstrators against police abuses in Lagos last year is a scandal. The secret police should stop ignoring court orders to release people who are being held illegally. This would not just be morally right, but also practical: young men who see or experience state brutality are more likely to join extremist groups.”

READ ALSO: How Buhari’s Panel Sold Six-storey Building For Paltry N100m

The news magazine noted that Nigeria was home to one of the largest film industries in the world and had the most successful start-ups in sub-Saharan Africa.

It argued that despite the great potential of the country, youths were beginning to emigrate in droves because of the sorry state of Nigeria.


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Govt Recaptures 262 Escaped Inmates From Oyo Correctional Facility



Govt Recaptures 262 Escaped Inmates From Oyo Correctional Facility

The Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) says 262 inmates from the 837 who escaped from the Abolongo Correctional Centre in Oyo town have been recaptured.

The Spokesperson of the NCS Oyo command, Olanrewaju Anjorin, in a statement on Saturday in Ibadan, said while 262 escaped inmates had been recaptured, 575 were still at large.

It was reported that suspected gunmen invaded the facility on Friday at about 9.30 p.m., blowing up the facility with dynamite and freeing all 837 awaiting trial inmates.

Mr Anjorin said, “All the awaiting trial detainees were forced out of custody, the cells housing the convicts and the female inmates were not vandalised.

“Meanwhile, a total of 262 of the escapees have been recaptured leaving 575 still at large.”

READ ALSO: Prisoners Escape As Gunmen Attack Oyo Correctional Facility

According to him, “the State Controller, Noel Ailewon, has commenced the process of search and recapture after visiting the scene of the incident.”

Assuring the public the fleeing inmates will be recaptured, the spokesperson said credible intelligence was needed to assist security agencies to track down the inmates.

He said the Oyo Custodial Centre was established in 2007 with a capacity of 160 inmates but had a total population of 907 at the time of the attack.

“Of this number, awaiting trial persons were 837 representing 92 per cent with just 64 convicts,” Mr Anjorin said.



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How My Father Was Jailed For Not Sending Me To School – Atiku



How My Father Was Jailed For Not Sending Me To School - Atiku

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has narrated how his father was jailed for failing to send him to school while he was growing up as a teenager.

The former presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stated this while delivering a speech at the Baze University Graduation ceremony in Abuja on Friday.

Atiku also said that his father later embraced the idea of education and despite his humble background, he enjoyed quality education for free.

In his speech titled “Solving Nigeria’s Education Challenges”, Atiku said : “I was a schoolboy and a herdsboy, and I fed my family.

READ ALSO: How To End Kidnapping Of University Students, Others – Atiku

“When I was 11 years old, my father drowned and died while crossing a river in the neighbourhood. He was not up to 40 years.

“Being an only child, I was raised by my maternal grandparents. I remember, sometimes we could barely afford one meal a day.

“Despite my difficult background, I went to school for free, in fact, I was paid to go to school.

“Initially, my father did not buy the idea of me going to school, for which he had to go to jail. I furthered my education to other tertiary institutions. I was the Students Union President at the School of Hygiene, Kano.

“My journey to education is different from yours. Your parents may have paid tuition fees for your education, but you did not have to rear cattle for food. However, both you and I got educated eventually. The paths may be different; nonetheless, the destination remains the same. Let us help others to reach their destination too.”


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