HURIWA Condemns Unlawful Detention of Bawa , Emefiele

HURIWA Condemns Unlawful Detention of Bawa , Emefiele

…Alleges Abuses of Power by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

…Condemns appointment of Yoruba born EFCC Chairman

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), strongly condemns the recent actions taken by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that have raised serious concerns about the state of human rights and the rule of law in our nation.

HURIWA’s National coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement on Thursday, said President Tinubu’s alleged abuse of power, particularly the detention of political prisoners and his disregard for due process, is a significant threat to the principles of democracy and justice.

The group also condemned what it described as the ‘’arm-twisting tactics adopted by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in arbitrarily detaining the Chairman of EFCC Abdulrasheed Bawa for over two months thereby forcing him to resign to make way for the appointment of President Tinubu’s kinsman Mr. Ola Olukayode as new Chairman of EFCC in clear violations of the Federal character principles as enshrined in section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  ‘’

HURIWA noted that ‘’President Tinubu is simply copying the nepotistic template practiced by his predecessor Muhammadu Buhari who for 8 years populated same and much more strategic offices with his Fulani kinsmen adding that it is inconceivable that Tinubu has now populated all key and juicy national offices with his Yoruba kinsmen including Nigerian Customs, Nigerian immigration, Nigerian Police, Nigerian Army, Central Bank of Nigeria, amongst other top notch national cabinet level offices.’’

Onwubiko further stated that President Tinubu has used his office to target perceived political enemies, former government officials, and those who opposed him during the 2023 party primaries and campaigns. These actions have included the prolonged detention of individuals without trial, which is an unconstitutional violation of their rights. One alarming case is that of the then EFCC Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa, who has been held in detention for nearly two months without due legal process.

HURIWA recalled that lawyers and supporters of constitutional democracy have denounced his detention as illegal, unconstitutional, and politically motivated. They claim that he is being persecuted for investigating and exposing corruption cases involving Tinubu and his allies during his tenure as the governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007.

Another case that has raised eyebrows is the dismissal of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Emefiele, who was sacked by Tinubu in September 2023 for allegedly mismanaging the country’s foreign reserves.

The former CBN governor, who is widely respected for his economic expertise and integrity, has challenged his dismissal in court, arguing that it was unlawful and politically motivated. He has reportedly accused Tinubu of interfering with the independence and autonomy of the CBN, and of trying to remove him from office because he refused to comply with Tinubu’s demands to fund his political projects and cronies.

The situation in the South East region of Nigeria has also been a source of concern for HURIWA and other Nigerians and observers. The region has been plagued by violence and insecurity since 2023, when unknown gunmen began attacking security forces and government facilities.

The federal government has responded by deploying troops and launching military operations to quell the unrest. However, these operations have resulted in high civilian casualties and human rights abuses, according to reports from local sources and civil society groups.

They allege that innocent villagers have been killed, injured, arrested, or displaced by the military, while the real perpetrators of the violence have remained elusive. Some suspect that the unknown gunmen may be linked to powerful interests within or outside the government, who may be using them to destabilize the region or advance their agenda

Furthermore, President Tinubu’s alleged failure to stop the continuation of the dare-devil activities of “unknown gunmen” campaign in the South East, and the consequent launching of Counter terror war characterized by excessive use of military force which has been accused of targeting innocent civilians, is a grave concern. Many innocent villagers have been affected, and the real culprits remain at large. This has raised suspicions that the “unknown gunmen” may be connected to the establishment, further deepening the crisis in the region.

‘’We call on President Tinubu to immediately release political prisoners, including Nnamdi Kanu, and uphold the principles of justice and human rights. It is unacceptable that political opponents are being held without trial or due process. President Tinubu’s actions not only undermine democracy but also threaten the stability and unity of our nation.’’

‘’We also urge the international community, particularly the United States and the United Kingdom, to reevaluate their support for President Tinubu and prioritize human rights and the rule of law in their engagement with Nigeria. It is disheartening to see these democracies not addressing the concerning situation of political prisoners and human rights violations in our country.’’ He added.

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