Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria, HURIWA, has described the continuous detention of the leader of Shiites Islamic movement, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and erstwhile National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd.) as an act of treason.
In a statement on Thursday, the civil rights group called on global leaders to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to release on bail the duo “who have languished in underground jails for over three years extralegally”.
Citing section 36(5) and section (6) of the Nigerian constitution which states: “Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty; provided that nothing in this section shall invalidate any law by reason only that the law imposes upon any such person the burden of proving particular facts”, Huriwa expressed disbelief that world leaders could fold their arms and watch as President Buhari “unleashed venoms and vicious attacks on its citizens”.
“It is the view of the human rights platform that the continuous detention and duplication of charges against the duo by President Muhammadu Buhari is an act of treason against the constitution just as HURIWA stated that it is necessary that they are not allowed to die in detention following reports of their deteriorating health conditions," the statement added.
The group also reacted to the recent order issued by the Inspector General Police, Mr Adamu Mohammed, on the restriction of public protests in certain locations in Abuja.
It will be recalled that the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, gave the order on Wednesday.
According to Huriwa, the order by the IGP is “illegal” as it is “against the clear provisions of the constitution in chapter four and provisions of the constitution guaranteeing the fundamental freedoms of movement and peaceful assembly, including the binding Appellate court’s verdict clearly stating that police don’t have any legal right to stop protests and against the most cherished values of constitutional democracy built around the tripod of freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of movement which are even guaranteed by a plethora of global human rights laws.”
The group added that they were shocked that whilst constitutional democracy gradually dies away in Nigeria due to deliberate whittling down of respect for human rights by the current administration, world leaders in the US and UK simply don’t care but pretend to be unaware of the global consequences of a deluge of refugees from Nigeria should democracy collapsed under the heavyweight of tyranny and totalitarianism of the current administration.