HURIWA Writes AGF, Demands Prosecution of IGP

Our Reporter
HURIWA Writes AGF, Demands Prosecution of IGP

A FRONTLINE Pro-Democracy Non-Governmental Organization - HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has made good its promise  to request the nation's Chief Law Officer and Minister of Justice Mr. Abubakar Malami  (SAN) to prosecute the Inspector General of Police Mr. Solomon Arase for his role in the killing of over half a dozen peaceful pro-Biafra protesters in Onitsha Anambra State last week.

In the letter which was signed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA  (HURIWA ) said the office of the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice has 21 working days within which to determine how best to bring the serving Inspector General of Police Mr. Solomon Arase to justice over his unlawful order to armed police operatives which allegedly  precipitated the violent break up by armed security operatives of the demonstration staged by thousands of peaceful marchers who were demanding the immediate unconditional release from the underground cells of theDepartment for State Security Services of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Director of the Europe Based Radio Biafra. 

In a media release signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWAsaid it decided to take this systematic approach of urging the relevant legal authorities at the highest level in Nigeria to take steps to prosecute persons who abuse their power by authorizing unlawful killings because the Rights group believes that only when impunity is extinguished in Nigeria will we make constructive progress in deepening democracy and respect for the principle of Rule of Law and Constitutional democracy. 

HURIWA said:

"Our resolve to exhaust local judicial and remedial mechanisms to obtain redress and justice for the victims of unlawful killings is overwhelming but this won't stop us from exploring global wide approach to ensure that Government officials and top police and military chiefs who issues unlawful orders that leads to the extra legal killings of Nigerians are brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague Netherlands for prosecution over crimes against humanity ".  

Excerpt of the letter sent to the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice reads thus:

 "PETITION FOR THE PROSECUTION OF IGP OVER UNLAWFUL ORDER THAT PRECIPITATED THE ALLEGED KILLINGS OF PEACEFUL PRO-BIAFRA PROTESTERS

"With hearts dripping with sorrow and lamentation over the needless shedding of blood by armed security operatives which occurred when these security operatives broke into  the peaceful civilian and completely unarmed protesters demanding  the release of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu in Onitsha Anambra State last weekend".

"As genuine  and patriotic stakeholders who consistently clamor for social justice, respect for the constitutional tenets of human rights and the RULE OF LAW in our Fatherland -Nigeria,  we are writing you this letter to demand that as the Chief law officer of Nigeria that you put machinery in motion to defend the constitution of Nigeria by ensuring that the Inspector General of Police Mr. Solomon Arase is  brought to account for the illegal and unconstitutional acts of violence that was unleashed on peaceful demonstrators barely 24 hours after his office issued a threat to quell the peaceful protests." 

"As your good self is aware, section 33(1) provides that:

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."

"It is our considered position that the deployment of lethal force to quell an otherwise peaceful protest amounts to extrajudicial killing and from available evidence this violence unleashed on the peaceful protesters happened within few hours after the unlawful directive from the IGP to confront these demonstrators. We suspect that the security operatives who allegedly shot at civilian protesters may have derived their motivation from the widely published order from the office of the IGP."

"We hereby tender for your attention and subsequent lawful action the printed evidence of all the threats that were issued from the office of the Inspector General of Police Mr. Solomon Arase against the peaceful pro-Biafra protesters. " 

"We strongly feel that his press statement and directive precipitated the violence which was allegedly unleashed on these tumultuous crowds of peaceful protesters resulting in the alleged killing of over 9 persons including a female Student who was allegedly hit by a stray bullet from the police in Onitsha".  

"The press reports of the casualties that happened when the combined team of security operatives violently broke up the picketing by the civilian protesters of the Onitsha head bridge can be found all over the Internet but we have also included this piece of information  for the benefit of easy reading Sir. We have titled the published evidence as ANNEXTURE." 

"Sir, we are doing this in order to fulfill the condition of exhausting local judicial remedies before other global wide steps may be adopted to obtain justice and redress for these unarmed civilians killed in their prime by the overzealous security operatives on the express orders of the Inspector General of Police Mr. Solomon Arase who issued an ambiguous media directive to his men and officers regarding the peaceful marchers in Onitsha head bridge". 

"We believe in your ability and patriotic zeal to do the needful on time so that the international community will not go with the perception that government and security officials are at liberty to issue unlawful threats which could result in the unlawful execution of civilians and the indicted officials are allowed to go without prosecutorial sanctions for this range of crime against humanity. Sir kindly end this police brutality and impunity".

"Kindly furnish us with the steps your good office intends to take within the next 21 days to obtain remedial justice for these Nigerians killed for simply exercising their fundamental human rights of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly guaranteed by the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human rights (UDHR) amongst other international humanitarian laws which Nigeria signed on to as a member of the United Nations human rights Council."

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