Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) on Thursday, urged the National Assembly to introduce a legislation that will criminalise Gestapo invasion of homes by security agents resulting in open robbery whilst armed and make such raids punishable by death. HURIWA is canvassing that theft of public appropriated and released for procurement of weapons to defend the nation should also become a capital offence punishable by death by firing Squad.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said the invasion of homes of innocent Nigerians have reached a disturbing rate and such unbecoming action should not be allowed to continue in a sane society because those actions are tantamount to armed robbery.
According to reports, men of the Force Intelligence Bureau Special Tactical Squad, Abuja, last Friday, broke into the Agege home of a Lagos-based businessman, Fatai Sowunmi, beat up the occupant, ransack the apartment and allegedly stole $5,000 from him and withdrew N1.3m from his brother’s bank account.
“Aside the Lagos Commissioner of Police, Alabi, saying the matter was under investigation, HURIWA wants the said officers arrested, subjected to orderly room trial, summarily dismissed and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to powerdrunk gun-wielding police officers harassing innocent citizens all over the country,” HURIWA’s Onwubiko noted.
Onwubiko added, “Recall that police rascality and extrajudicial killings culminated into the EndSARS protests in October 2020 but it is worrisome that the police haven’t learnt its lessons about two years after as officers are still terrorising innocent citizens.
“Even if a citizen is suspected to have been involved in a crime, the right approach is to go to such residence with a search warrant and not resort to the maximum force, corruption, exploitation, intimidation and general coercion. This is unacceptable and the actions of such officers must not go unpunished as crimes fester when culprits are shielded and not brought to book.
“Police criminality, armed robbery has reached an alarming rate. There is therefore the need for state Houses of Assembly and the National Assembly to legislate crime of this type and theft of defence budgets by military chiefs as capital offences punishable by death as a way of checkmating the rascality of the police and the heightened state of corruption in the military which endangers national security.
“HURIWA will follow this case to its very end and ensure that it is not swept under the carpet like many cases of corruption-rotten officers like the suspended head of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari.”
Recall that human rights activist, Agba Jalingo, has narrated how Kyari and his men invaded his Lagos home in a Gestapo style and bundled him to Cross River in the trunk of a car.
Also, a lawyer, Kabir Akingbolu, released a video and filed a petition months before Kyari was enmeshed in his current alleged scandal involving some drug traffickers.
The petition was filed against Kyari in respect of his criminality committed against the lawyer’s client, Hafeez Mojeed. Kyari and his men had arrested Mojeed in a commando style around 9:30pm, collected all their belongings, including the golden wedding rings of both the wife and husband, their travelling and title documents, wristwatch and his 2012 model Honda Accord.
They allegedly also took his ATM and collected its password and withdrew N840,000 in the account.
They later beat Mojeed to a pulp to the point where he was dripping with blood and allegedly withdrew a fixed deposit of N41,800,000 in his account.
“This illegality should not be allowed to continue. Right from Kyari, and the officers from the Force Intelligence Bureau Special Tactical Squad, amongst others should be prosecuted for invasion, extortion, and abuse of office,” HURIWA’s Onwubiko noted.
The 17 southern governors had in July 2021 resolved that security agencies must notify them as the chief security officers of their states before they carry out any operation within their domain.
This was following the Gestapo raid by men of the Department of State Services on the Ibadan residence of Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho, where two persons were killed, many injured, cars and property worth billions of naira vandalised by bullets.
The resolution of the southern governors had also followed the Gestapo raid by security agents on the Abia home of leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, were people were killed and many injured.
“HURIWA backs the stand of the southern governors and asked that the National Assembly should make a law that mandate security agents to seek the permission of governors as chief security officers before any special operations from Abuja,” Onwubiko added.
Recall that in 2021, a member of the Senate, representing Osun East Senatorial District, Senator Francis Fadahunsi, had raised the alarm that fraud was rampant within the Nigerian armed forces and some paramilitary agencies, noting that the nation would not overcome insecurity if left unchecked.
The senator, who is a retired Assistant Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, had claimed that the military service chiefs prefer the importation of arms because of what they stand to gain from the exchange rates to the detriment of local manufacturing of guns and other weapons.
Some aggrieved soldiers had also written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing top officers of the Nigerian Army of corruption.
“These allegations of corruption must be investigated and the culprits prosecuted publicly,” Onwubiko said.
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA)
July 28, 2022