NIGERIA POLICE AND INFRACTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS OF CITIZENS 


It is disheartening to read that the Imo State Police Command is keen on frustrating a peaceful protest. This is disheartening because the same Command has never raised any issue with or aborted any Pro-Imo State Government rally. 

What is now unfolding, therefore, is a deliberate and calculated abuse of the fundamental right of citizens to associate and express themselves. This should be condemned. 
The duty of the Police, during peaceful rally or protest, is to provide security to ensure that the participants in the peaceful rally or protest are not harassed by those opposed to their expression of their views, miscreants and hoodlums. Next, so that the participants do not take the law into their hands. 
It is important to note that the instant peaceful rally is not a professional rally but a sit in a place solemn rally which will not bring the participants in contact with  those not for the rally. Anyone not interested in the rally or opposed to it has not business going there. Police is needed to ensure that level of discipline and not frustrate the rally. 
The Police is to watch the conduct of the participants. If any breaks the law, no doubt, such a person is to be picked by the Police and subjected to the due process of law. This is what the Police is expected to do, and not to concoct unfounded reasons to deny citizens their guaranteed right of association and free expression. 
I hereby call on Mr. President, the Inspector General of Police, the Police Service Commission (PSC) and well meaning Nigerians to call on the Commissioner of Police, Imo State not deny these citizens their right to freely assemble and freely express themselves which are constitutionally guaranteed rights. 
The organisers should be taken by their words. Their letter and the press release speak for themselves. If they infringe the penal law, they verily know that they are accountable.
Let us grow our democracy. The Nigeria Police Force is not established for those in power only. It exists for all the citizens. It must endeavour to isolate itself from taking side on issues and abusing rights of citizens.
I call for rule of law and justice! 
 

(The Notification Letter to the Commissioner of Police, Imo State and the Press Release by the Group on the reaction of the Commissioner of Police.) 
A PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE IMO PEOPLES ACTION FOR DEMOCRACY (IPAD) AT THE END OF THEIR EMERGENCY MEETING ON THE PLOT TO SCUTTLE THEIR PEACEFUL RALLY BY THE IMO STATE GOVERNMENT USING THE POLICE.
The Imo Peoples Action for Democracy (IPAD) has noted with dismay the plot by the Imo State Government to use the Imo State command of the Nigerian Police to scuttle our peaceful rally scheduled to commence on 18th December 2017 in Owerri. 
As a responsible Organization, we had earlier written to both the Nigerian Police and the Department of State Services to inform them of our rally and for them to carry out their constitutional obligation of providing protection for the rally. While the later saw no problem in a peaceful rally, the former could not conform to the provisions of the constitution. 
The Imo State command of the Nigerian Police which the public presently perceive as compromised by the Imo State Government, expectedly raised objection to our peaceful rally citing flimsy reasons. After a careful review of the development, we hereby state as follows:
1. That our rally has been planned to be peaceful and non confrontational and cannot be a threat to peace and security in the state.

2. That the 1999 constitution as amended has given us the right to peaceful rally which the police cannot remove.

3. That the police should refrain from being used as a tool to suppress the civil rights of the citizens.

4. That we are perplexed as to why a sponsored pro government group “Rochas Mandate” would be allowed and protected to hold a rally on the 15th of December and then decide to scuttle a peaceful rally of the people. 

5. IPAD will continue with her peaceful rally as scheduled on the 18th of December 2017.

6. That the Imo state government and the Imo state command of the Nigerian police should be held responsible if the rally is attacked by paid agents since they have shown strong intent to scuttle the rally.

7. That the Inspector General of the police should immediately call the Commissioner of Police in Imo to order to ensure he respects the right to freedom of assembly in Imo state.

8. That we commend the DSS command in Imo for displaying an uncommon maturity in appreciating and respecting our right to peaceful assembly.
Signed:
Aku Obidinma                                  Marjorie Ezihe

(Coordinator)           (Secretary Org. Committee)

Advertisements

ANAMBRA STATE HAS DECIDED! 


​ANAMBRA STATE HAS DECIDED! 
FINAL RESULT:
APC 98,605 
APGA 233,445
PDP 69,954
You will find that APC got less than half (i.e. 50%) of the votes cast for APGA. PDP got less than one-third of the votes cast for APGA. These are landmarks to be analysed. 
APC is the party at the center and has many bigwigs. It campaigned strenuously and spent well too. It brought former and incumbent Governors to campaign for its candidate. Mr. President campaigned for him too. So, what really happened? 
PDP’s campaign was driven by the former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi: a man well respected in the State. The Governor whose tenure was successful and empowering. His tenure is filled with several positive landmarks. Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan also campaigned for the PDP candidate. So, what really went wrong?
Some are now asking: is the result an indicator of the expected pattern of voting in the South East States in 2019? I am hesitant to x-ray the situation now as it is too early. It is important to watch the political build up and certain anticipated political events.

HOW WE FIGHT CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA 


One point that the government keeps missing is that many Nigerians do not believe that the fight against corruption is not more of a witch hunt and big story full of propaganda . A fight that those who raise critical issues are called names, especially ‘wailers’ and castigated by the spin doctors of government. 
 I have been called a ‘wailer’ for simply raising a critical issue in a post. I confess that I wholly support the fight against corruption an also, I want it to succeed. However, I am convinced and have maintained that the State does not fight corruption with double standards and/or fairy tales. You fight corruption with concrete facts. Also that the State must fight corruption within the extant legal framework. 
I now come to the reason for this post. It is the recent allegation by the EFCC that certain persons (referred to as a cabal) want to tarnish the “unblemished integrity” of its boss, Magu. As a citizen, I consider the allegation serious. I believe that every responsible and responsive Government it serious and tackle the alarm with swiftness. Why? Magu should be the face of the anti-corruption fight in the country, after of Mr. President. 
Interestingly, both – Magu and Mr. President – have harmonious working relationship. Also, both have the legal power to cause the arrest of persons reasonably suspected of having committed economic and financial crimes. 

So, the alarm by EFCC that some persons have concocted plans to buy properties in foreign countries in the name of its  boss, Magu is one that should invoke critical reactions. There is no doubt that for the EFCC to blow this whistle, it should have it facts and figures; the alarm is not to harass us with unfounded allegations and tales by the moonlight. I will be right to state that, by now, the EFCC must have outgrown acting on rumours and hearsay. So, I take the said alarm very serious. I think that the Federal Government and every Nigerian should too. 
However, I have my worry and my concern. It is patriotic. The worry and the concerned are aptly captured in a short post on my Facebook wall: “Nigerians no be mugu! Nigerians no be mumu. Magu cause the arrest of those who bought the houses, if you are saying the truth.”I tweeted a similar post. I verily believe that only the arrest and successful prosecution of these ‘enemies of our country’ will help the EFCC. As it will  demonstrate that the EFCC is real and not full of diversionary or propaganda tactics. If no person is charged to Court, at least, for the alleged act, it will further affect the credibility of the EFCC. One may ask then: how do expect Nigerians  to continue to believe the EFCC? This is a tough question. 

​MONKEY POX AND YOU


The Federal Government has confirmed there is monkey pox in the following States: Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo. Lagos, Nasarawa and Rivers, and the Federal Capital Territory. There are 74 reported cases. It means that the virus is spreading. 

The irony is that the Federal Government is not doing much to avert the spread across the country. The public awareness campaign is low unlike the Ebola situation. The Federal Government should ensure that not all the States are affected. 
The State Governments are also not doing much too. This is the time or situation to utilise the security vote they annually appropriate. The situation is one of human insecurity. 
As citizens, we should create the awareness too. Educate our families and neighbours on the available preventive strategies. Together, we can overcome the virus. 
Ask yourself: Do I wash my hands after use with soap? Do my wards wash their hands regularly? Safe environment is a right too.

NIGERIA’S CIVIL SOCIETY PRESS RELEASE ON THE VARIOUS ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION BY A SENATOR AGAINST THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE 


​October 17, 2017
ON THE GRAND CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS BY SENATOR HAMMAN ISA MISAU AGAINST THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE, IBRAHIM IDRIS AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION MR. MIKE OKIRO:
A JOINT CIVIL SOCIETY RESPONSE TO THE LINGERING ACCUSATIONS AND COUNTER ACCUSATIONS BETWEEN SENATOR MISAU AND THE IGP AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S POSTURE
We, the undersigned representatives of key civil society organisations spread across Nigeria, have watched with serious concern, the failure of the Federal Government to address the serious allegations of grand corruption made by Senator Hamman Isa Misau, representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District against the Inspector General of Police, Mr.  Ibrahim Idris and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission Mr. Mike Okiro, respectively. 
In the past three months, through interviews in the media and on the floor of the Senate, Senator Misau has consistently accused the IGP of grand corruption, abuse of office and predatory sexual misconduct against serving female officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). He has also accused the Chairman of the Police Service Commission of complicity in the corruption and irregularities surrounding police promotion. Additionally, Senator Misau has accused both the IGP and the Chairman of the PSC of deviating from the guidelines for police promotion, discarding the requirements of merit and equity in favour of nepotism, favouritism and bribery.
In response, the IGP claims that Senator Misau, a former Police Officer, deserted from the NPF and forged documents related to his disengagement from the Force. The PSC in September confirmed that the Senator’s retirement letter was regular. The Senate has, nevertheless, established ad-hoc committees to investigate Senator Misau’s allegations and the counter-allegations from the NPF. 
The Senate’s prompt response in setting up the ad hoc committees is welcome. We hope that the investigation will be prompt, impartial and exhaustive, and that the outcome will be made public. 
Unlike the Senate, however, the Presidency has remained silent in the face of these grievous and lingering corruption allegations against the IGP and the Chairman of the PSC. Under the Constitution, the Police Act and the PSC Act, the President has primary supervisory responsibility over the IGP and the PSC.  The police is the primary law enforcement agency in Nigeria. Fighting corruption is President Buhari’s signature commitment. Therefore, when allegations of crime and flagrant breach of the law are brought against the IGP, we expect the President to treat them seriously. Rather, his silence in this case has been deafening. 
Senator Misau’s allegation reinforce similar allegation contained in earlier petitions to the President against the IGP and the Chairman of the PSC by notable civil society organisations, including NOPRIN, Access to Justice, and CSNAC. None of these petitions were acknowledged. Curiously, as soon as the Senate set up the ad hoc committee into the allegations against the IGP, the executive responded by filing criminal charges against the Senator ‘for making injurious statements against the IGP Ibrahim Idris’.
 The failure of the President to address these allegations is damaging to morale and discipline in the NPF and  makes his anti-corruption agenda questionable. Police officers themselves have been grumbling and expressing their grievances through petitions over what they describe as irregularities and favouritism in police promotion which have seen many of them stagnate on the same rank for as long as ten and more years while their mates and even juniors are promoted, sometimes two or three times over them. It also has grave implications for public safety and security as disgruntled police officers are predisposed to taking out their frustrations on fellow citizens becoming predators rather than protectors and undermining national security. 
 We call on President Buhari to live up to his constitutional responsibilities and demonstrate commitment to genuinely fight corruption in the country by supporting efforts to get to the roots of the grave allegations against the IGP and the Chairman of the PSC and to ensure that they are appropriately sanctioned in accordance with the law if they are found culpable.
Signed:
Okechukwu Nwanguma,  NOPRIN Foundation

Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri,  Spaces for Change

Abdul Mahmud Esq., President, Public Interest Lawyers League (PILL)

Z. N. Senbanjo Esq., Executive Director, Confluence of Rights

Uche Wisdom Durueke, President, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO)

Eze Onyekpere, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ)

Dr. Chima Amadi, The Centre for Transparency Advocacy

Olanrewaju Suraju, Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC)

Auwal Musa-Rafsanjani, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)

David O Anyaele, Executive Director, Center for Citizens With Disability (CCD)

Justus Ijeomah, International Human Rights and Equity Defence Foundation (I-REF)

Inibehe Effiong, Member, Steering Committee, Movement Against Corruption (MAC)

Walter Duru Ph. D, Executive Director, Media Initiative Against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIVOC)

Mimidoo Achakpa, Executive Director, Right to Education Project

Sam Akpologun Esq., Legal Practitioner, Human Rights Activist

Reverend David Ugolor, The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ)

Esther   Proactive Gender Initiatives

Debo Adeniran, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL)

Justin Ijeoma, Executive Director, Human Rights Social Development and Environmenta l Foundation (HURSDEF)

Nma Odi, Alliance for Credible Elections

PRESIDENT ZUMA’S VISIT TO A STATE IN NIGERIA – THE OUTRAGE FOLLOWING IT


​UNITED LABOUR CONGRESS OF NIGERIA (ULC) 

PRESS RELEASE

                                         15TH OF OCTOBER, 2017
ROCHAS AND ZUMA’S STATUE: AN INSENSITIVE ABERRATION
We observed with consternation and disgust the shameful event that was the erection of the statue in Owerri honouring Jacob Zuma the president of South Africa by the Governor of Imo state including naming a street in the state capital after the President. This is highly insensitive and contemptuous of not only the people of Imo state but also possess the danger of spreading its evil bile throughout Nigeria if not roundly condemned and excoriated by well-meaning Nigerians.
We are not against honouring great men and women who have contributed positively to the development of the state to encourage them to do more but we know that whatever must have informed the choice of Jacob Zuma at this time must be everything but altruistic and patriotism. How he became a Nigerian or Imo state champion cannot be explained and beats our imagination. 
Zuma is neither a Nigerian patriot nor has he contributed anything to the Nigerian project nor the Imo state effort at development. He is not Shehu Shagari nor, Sam Mbakwe, Awolowo or Zik of Africa neither is he any of those patriots from Imo state or other parts of Nigeria who are well-deserving of such honour and who has not been honoured. He is definitely not deserving a statue in Imo state talk less of naming a street after him.
ULC believes that it is highly insensitive for Okorocha to have chosen at this time to give such honour to a man under whose watch Nigerians have been murdered both by state agencies and the masses his leadership aroused by negative propaganda against Nigerians. What this means is that Rochas has endorsed the killings of Nigerians in South Africa under this man’s watch and is celebrating it here in Nigeria for all of us to see so that those who lost their loved ones in those unfortunate xenophobic attacks in South Africa will continue living in mourning as they wake up daily to behold the face of Zuma’s statue. Rochas is rubbing our faces in the mess!
We also wonder why Okorocha thinks that a man who has almost ruined the Economy of his nation and whose corrupt and itchy fingers have become documented to the extent that the South African Judiciary has decided a few days ago to resurrect the Hundreds of cases against him in the country. What will Nigerians and especially the people of Imo state learn from such a man? Perhaps Okorocha endorses and celebrates corruption which may be a sign of the way he has also governed the people of his state. This is truly unfortunate.
For a state Governor who is in the habit of owing workers’ salaries and worst still owing pensioners months in arrears including as alleged by some of issuing dud cheques to some of them, we wonder where he got the millions with which he embarked on this white elephant project thus path to infamy. 
Giving Zuma a traditional title in Nigeria especially in Imo state is truly a celebration of mediocrity and xenophobia and should not have been allowed by a Government that has the interest of the people at heart. We ask; what is the benefit of this for the people of Imo state and Nigeria in general? What is in this for our democracy? What is in this for the war against corruption? What is in this for the promised change which was the mantra upon which the Government of Okorocha came to power? Has Okorocha put his personal ambitions and pursuits ahead of the interests of the people of the state or has he allowed his basal inclinations to overshadow the development of Imo state? We are indeed living in worrying times!
ULC urges the people of Imo state and indeed join other patriotic Nigerians who feel outraged over this very unpatriotic and treacherous act to immediately demand that Okorocha pulls down the infamous statue. As long as that statue stands, it remains a standing disgrace and shame to the perfidy which Rochas’ government has become to Imo state and indeed the whole of Nigeria. It becomes a living testimony to the apparent thoughtlessness of not only Rochas but most members of the nation’s ruling elite.
People of Imo should demand a return of the money used in this ignoble project and March to the Legislature to demand that Okorocha apologises to the citizens of the state for bringing this national shame and disgrace to them. We must not allow this mockery of our national values as typified by the action of the Governor to spread to other parts of the nation and that is our fear as a labour centre. Evil has a way of spreading fast and it is our duty to contain it before it does.
Once again the ULC demands that Okorocha removes the ignominious name of Zuma from the streets of Owerri and the ignoble statue dismantled immediately to avoid our mobilising against it and pulling it down ourselves. We cannot allow a reminder of corruption and governance ineptitude to continue staring us on the face daily. In trying to honour Zuma, Okorocha has brought dishonour to his  father’s land!Nigerians cannot allow this insult to stand! That Zuma statue insults our collective sensibilities as a nation and diminishes our national pride and must be pulled down now!
                                                Comrade Joe Ajaero

                                                      (President)