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HURIWA berates DSS, demands immediate release of Radio Biafra Director Nnamdi Kanu

By News Express on 19/10/2015

Views: 3,016

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has strongly condemned the reported arrest and detention of Director of Radio Biafra, Mr Nnamdi Kanu, by the Department of State Service (DSS). The group, which described the incarceration as outrageous violation of the constitutional freedom of right to association and movement, in a country where alleged sponsors of the Boko Haram insurgents – which has caused the gruesome murder of over 20,000 innocent Nigerians in the last three years – are being rehabilitated and settled with juicy political appointments, including a prominent leadership position in the Senate. 

This was contained in a media statement endorsed by the organisation’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, in reaction to the arrest at the International Airport, Lagos of the leader of the self-determination group, Mr Kanu. The statement condemned what it called the Gestapo-style of state-sponsored abduction of a citizen in the guise of arrest, without allowing him enjoy all the constitutional rights recognised in the process of any valid arrest. This, according to the group, includes allowing his legal representatives to be aware of such an action and the specific security agency carrying out such an act. It added: “The illegality that characterised the arrest of the pro-Biafra advocate by the DSS has completely made nonsense of the principle of rule of law and, is hereby condemned.” The group, therefore, demanded his immediate release and an apology from the federal government.

HURIWA berated the DSS for going after such a soft target as Mr Kanu, whose only alleged offence is the peaceful and constructive lawful agitation for a self-government for the marginalised Igbo-speaking nationality. It noted that the constitutional freedom of speech and expression enshrined in Nigerian laws do not forbid anyone from canvassing peaceful self-government, which in any event is legally permissible under diverse international humanitarian laws, including the Covenant on Civil and political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which Nigeria, as a United Nations member, signed on to.

HURIWA recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had – at the just-concluded  General Assembly of the United Nations – canvassed global support for the Palestinian cause, adding: “The Palestinian situation is similar to the agitation for self-rule by the pro-Biafra platform based in Europe, which Nnamdi Kanu currently champions, through the instrumentality of peaceful media advocacy campaigns.” The statement described Kanu as a Political Prisoner of Conscience, and called for his urgent release.

HURIWA charged DSS to go after the founders and funders of the Boko Haram terrorists that are unleashing horrendous crime against humanity and stop the harassment of peaceful agitators of self-rule such as Kanu, and many others.

“Some of the alleged sponsors of Boko Haram are today rehabilitated and settled with juicy political appointments, including a prominent leadership position in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, through a conspiratorial refusal of officials of the Justice ministry of the federation to efficiently prosecute him before a competent court of law.” HURIWA also berated the President Buhari-led administration for releasing hundreds of Boko Haram suspects from detention without prosecution. “But this same administration appointed a hugely politically partisan hierarchy for the Department of State Service that is now going after peaceful Biafra agitators.”

HURIWA noted: “The Nigerian state under the current dispensation is simply chasing shadows by seeking to curtail the fundamental freedoms of peaceful citizens such as Mr Kanu, whereas it hasn't professionally and effectively gone after the masterminds of terrorism, which has caused the gruesome murder of over 20,000 innocent Nigerians in the last three years. In only about four months of this administration, over 700 innocent Nigerians have been killed by Boko Haram; and bombs are raining on innocent worshippers and civilians in markets of Maiduguri, Borno State, but the DSS is being used to go after pro-Biafra agitators who have only demanded self-rule legally.

“Nnamdi Kanu must be given all his constitutional rights, and is presumed innocent in the eye of the law and should be released forthwith. We condemn this military style of intimidation and harassment of ordinary unarmed citizens, whose presumed crime is seeking self-rule, which is allowed under the law internationally.”

Photo shows Nnamdi Kanu.

Source News Express

Posted 19/10/2015 4:04:20 PM





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