HURIWA petitions rights commission over alleged harassment of Enugu community by Police

Posted by News Express | 7 August 2020 | 660 times

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Civil rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has approached the National Human Rights commission (NHRC) and the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) with a petition against the Nigerian Police over the persistent harassment, intimidation, and arbitrary detention of community leaders in Ugwuaji community of Enugu South Local Government Area Council of Enugu State, South East of Nigeria.

The rights group said the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu; the Enugu State Governor and his Housing Commissioner should be invited to provide clarifications why they allegedly took hold of lands belonging rightfully to the community in gross violations of extant Land Use Act and the Nigerian Constitution. 

The rights group said it has been approached for intervention by a coalition of Ugwuaji Progressives on whose express request and unequivocal instruction they had forwarded this complaint to these institutions believing that the alleged human rights violators are called to order without any further delay.

The petition sent to these Federal Government agencies reads: “We are constrained to forward this petition to you in order to bring to your knowledge the dastardly act of malicious damage, destruction and vandalisation of our community’s  properties which properties are also in their peaceable possession, harassment of members of the coalition with men of Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force, including acts capable of inciting communal war perpetrated allegedly by the Commissioner for Housing, Enugu State, Vitus Okechi.”

“The alleged reckless activities of Vitus Okechi underscore the reason why it is necessary to have articulate and capable hand run the affairs of the ministry as sensitive as the Enugu State Ministry of Housing. It is obvious that this Commissioner is reportedly barely literate enough to acquaint himself with the legal and regulatory requirements for the compulsory acquisition of the land in Nigeria. He also has scant regards for form and procedure.

“From a cursory look at and thorough perusal of the legal and regulatory requirement for the compulsory acquisition of land in Nigeria can be gleaned from the 1999 Constitution of the Feral Republic of Nigeria. The right to own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria is a fundamental right guaranteed under Section 43 of the constitution.”

HURIWA therefore called on the NHRC and PCC to immediately step into this matter to compel the relevant authorities in Enugu State to abide by the letters and principles of the Nigerian constitution and to stop forthwith the continuous harassment and persecution of the claimants to the ownership of the land in Ugwuaji community of Enugu South Local Government Area Council which the Housing Commissioner has reportedly taken illegal possession of without due regards to the rule of law.

Source: News Express

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