Posted by News Express | 21 February 2019 | 969 times
A non-governmental civil society organisation, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has urged the top hierarchy of the military to be wary of falling foul of international crimes law binding injunctions against committing crimes against humanity by carrying out a totally unlawful order of President Muhammadu Buhari who is also the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to shoot at sight suspected snatchers of the ballot boxes in the general elections scheduled for this Saturday.
HURIWA said Buhari cannot validly exercise the powers of the Commander-in-Chief in line with Section 217(1) of the Nigerian Constitution and subsequent provisions on the operational modalities of the Armed Forces during this election in the absence of a valid supporting legislation by the National Assembly.
This is besides the fact that he is also a candidate in the election and therefore would be committing high treason punishable under both municipal and global crimes’ laws should he authorise the unlawful deployment of lethal weapons extra legally during the conduct of the election.
HURIWA also reminded the military heads that they will inevitably be arrested in Europe, America or any other jurisdictions and flown into the ICC for prosecution should any Nigerian citizen be killed extra judicially based on the jaundiced and politically toxic but all together unconstitutional shoot-at-sight order.
HURIWA reminded the military hierarchy that their loyalty for now and during the periods of the elections is to the people of Nigeria and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not to either the APC, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or the holder of the office of President who is to be treated as equal contestant at the polls.
According to the rights group, the President is not permitted by Electoral Act and the Constitution to resort to the use of self help measures such as giving far reaching directives to the Nigerian Army to kill suspected electoral offenders even when both the extant Electoral Act and Section 33(1) of the Nigerian Constitution makes it illegal for extra judicial execution to be deployed against offenders who in any event are presumed innocent by the Constitution (36 subsection5) until a valid decision of a court of competent jurisdiction recognised and empowered by Section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria determines otherwise.
HURIWA reminded military heads that the constitution is valid and sacrosanct and supersedes any kind of order that violates a clearly written provision of the law.
The rights group said it is obliged to remind the Nigerian Army of the Rome Statute setting up global crimes court in The Hague Netherlands to prosecute war crimes against humanity and extralegal killings such as the one the current presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress has asked verbally for the military to commit acts of crimes against humanity.
HURIWA therefore challenged the military to refuse to obey unlawful orders and to know that there is life after office in which case they could be arrested and prosecuted at the International Criminal Court (ICC). “We are doing this caution as good friends of the military institution. We pray that God in His infinite goodness will imbue in the military chiefs the wisdom to refuse to carry out this unlawful order to shoot to kill suspected ballot box snatchers,” the rights group said.
It asked Nigerians who are aware of any such killings during the elections to call 07040303030.
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