Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group:- Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) has warned political office holders in the current dispensation to check the disturbing tendencies of abuse of power and to always adhere strictly to the work ethics built on the principle of Rule of Law, integrity, transparency and accountability.
HURIWA specifically criticised the ongoing politically motivated spat in Rivers, Ogun and Kano State just as the Rights group stated that those who led political offices, especially the office of governor, are actually holding this high office on trust for the good people of their states and on no occasion should governors believe that they are above the law just as they must bear in mind that power is transient.
“We find it unbelievably cruel, that governors will permit the deployment of state powers for destructive purposes such as ordering and supervising the physical destruction of housing assets established by perceived political adversaries”.
“This continuous display of brute force and the practice of might is right kind of primitivism by some of the governors, are so unconstitutional, despicable and reprehensible just as these petty but illegal attitudes repprted by journalists and intermittently splashed on the cover pages of the mass media are graphically painting Nigeria as a Banana Republic before the international community.”
HURIWA insisted that the reason for which some governors abuse their power by destroying hard earned property of their opponents is because they live under the mistaken notion that section 308 (1) which grants them immunity from prosecution is meant for life even as the Rights group urged owners of such housing assets destroyed by governors to note that in criminal law, the status of limitation is beyond eight years of the two terms of each governor who might win a second term. We urge the victims to institute charges in the competent court of law and seek damages.’
HURIWA recalled that the Rivers State Government demolished the transmission station of the African Independent Television/Ray Power in Ozuoba, on the outskirts of Port Harcourt.
This followed the state government’s 48-hour notice to Daar Communications, owners of the AIT and Ray Power to remove its property on the right of way of its proposed housing project in the GRA Phase 5 area of Port Harcourt, the state capital.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Mrs Ebere Dennis-Emenike, issued the notice in a letter which simply carries, ‘To whom it may concern’ and obtained by our correspondent.
The letter which was dated March 20, 2023, is titled, ‘Proposed GRA Phase 5 Ozuoba, Port Harcourt demolition notice’
It reads, “Following the imminent commencement of the above project, all structure (s) impacting on the Right-of-way of the project have been earmarked for demolition including your own.
Consequently, you are by this notice requested to remove such structure (s) within forty-eight (48) hours to allow for speedy progress of work.”
Our correspondent recalls that the land on which the AIT/RayPower Radio station built its transmission station has been a subject of dispute between the state government and Daar Communications Plc.
HURIWA noted that the land on which AIT and Raypower Radio Station built its transmission station has been a subject of dispute between the Rivers State Government and Daar Communication Plc.
HURIWA however blamed the demolition to political infighting in the Peoples Democratic Party involving the immediate past Rivers State Governor Mr. Nyesom Wike and the then Presidential candidate of the PDP whose Director General of the campaign the now deceased High Chief Raymond Dokpesi was the founding Chairman of the African Independent Television just as the current administration in Rivers state put in place virtue of the backing of the immediate past governor, carried out the demolition to pacify the governor’s God father who is currently the minister of the Federal Capital Territory.
HURIWA wonders why the Rivers State Government will not abide by the rule of law and due process of the law but went ahead to exercise political power not supported by the constitution just so as to get even with the now late High Chief Raymond Dokpesi who was an acolyte of the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who is a staunch political adversary of Mr. Nyesom Wike.
HURIWA is therefore calling for a constitutional reforms to delete section 308(1) of the constitution so nobody in Nigeria will go about committing unlawful acts under the cover of constitutional limmu its from prosecution as currently stipulate din that bad section of the Nigerian constitution. The Rights group said the fundamental bulwark of constitutional democracy is that everyone in a Sovereign state is subject to the rule of law.