Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to abide by his oath of office by calling on the police not to disrupt upcoming #EndSARS protests.
Falana, who is the Interim Chairman, Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, said this in a statement on Thursday titled, ‘Nigeria Police Force Lacks Power to Ban Public Protests in Nigeria’.
The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, had said the police would not allow anyone to stage another #EndSARS protest ahead of the one-year anniversary of the protests of last year.
However, Falana said Buhari who himself took part in protests while he was running for office, should call on the police to respect the rights of citizens.
He added, “It is public knowledge that General Muhammadu Buhari (as he then was) and other leaders of the ruling All Progressive Congress took part in public rallies against fuel hike in January 2012 and protests against insecurity in November 2014.
“To that extent, the Buhari administration ought to restrain the Police from banning peaceful rallies against police brutality on October 20, 2021 in any manner whatsoever and however.”
Falana noted that the law guarantees Nigerians the right to hold public meetings, rallies and processions in the country.
“The threats against peaceful rallies oozing out of the police headquarters and state commands are illegal as they constitute a gross infringement of the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly guaranteed by Sections 38 and 40 of the Nigerian Constitution as well as Articles 9 and 10 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act,” the activist added.
He recalled that in the case of the All Nigeria People’s Party v Inspector-General of Police 2006, Justice Anwuli Chikere declared that police permit as a precondition for holding rallies in Nigeria was illegal and unconstitutional.
The judge consequently granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Inspector-General of Police and other police officers from preventing Nigerian citizens from convening and participating in rallies.
“The appeal of the police against the judgment was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in December 2007. In the unanimous decision of the court, their lordships described police permit as ‘a relic of colonialism’ which is anomalous in a democratic society,” Falana said.
He added that based on the landmark judgment of the Court of Appeal, the National Assembly amended the Electoral Act 2010 in March 2015 to impose a duty on the police to provide security for participants in public meetings and rallies.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 94 (4) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) provides: Notwithstanding any provision in the Police Act, the Public Order Act and any regulation made thereunder or any other law to the contrary, the role of the Nigeria Police Force in political rallies, processions and meetings shall be limited to the provision of adequate security as provided in subsection (1) of this section,” the senior advocate said.
He added that Section 83 (4) of the Police Establishment Act 2020 provides that where a person or organisation notifies the police of his or its intention to hold a public meeting, rally or procession on a public highway or such meetings in a place where the public has access to, the police officer responsible for the area where the meeting rally or procession will take place shall mobilise personnel to provide security cover for the meeting, rally or the procession.
“In view of the fact that the police authorities have been notified of the public rallies scheduled to hold on October 20, 2020 to mark the first year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests, the Nigeria Police Force is required to make arrangements for the provision of adequate security for the participants at the venues of the rallies,” Falana said.
He called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Usman Alkali, to direct the Commissioners of Police in all the states of the Federation to ensure that adequate security is provided for all citizens who may wish to protest against the policies of the government which are considered inimical to their interests.
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Why Wike Must Apologise To Amaechi -HURIWA
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has told the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike to apologise to his predecessor and former boss, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi.
HURIWA said Wike should apologise to the former Minister of Transportation for what it described as needless political war of vendetta to Amaechi, who entrusted key offices to him whilst he (Amaechi) served as Governor.
On September 14, 2015, Wike had vowed to implement the recommendations of the judicial commission of inquiry probing the sale of the State’s valued assets by the Amaechi administration.
Also, the Justice George Omereji seven-man commission of inquiry concluded its proceeding on the matter over the weekend, warning that the former Minister and some members of his administration who shunned the panel should be prepared to bear the consequences of their action.
HURIWA accused the Commission of reaching predetermined conclusions and indicting Amaechi without hearing his own side of the story.
In a statement by its national Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko,, HURIWA said it thinks “the politically motivated witch-hunt using certain forces in the judiciary against Amaechi is the source of the current political troubles and ‘karma’ afflicting Wike.”
HURIWA also stated that Governor Wike, in the last eight years, has become anti-workers and dictatorial.
Wike had on Monday said that some aggrieved losers in the People Democratic Party, PDP, governorship primary for 2023 which produced former State Accountant-General, Sim Fubara as candidate, were leading an Abuja plot for his downfall.
Wike during activities to celebrate former Governor Peter Odili at 74, pointed at some of the party leaders who, on his 2021 birthday, indicated interest to fly the ticket, but failed in the end, as spearheading the gang up against him.
HURIWA counselled Wike “to put an end to his cantankerous political warfare against his kinsman- Amaechi and end his administration as a democrat and not a quarrelsome tyrant.”
253 total views, 253 views today
2023: My Priority Is To Market Tinubu And Not Join Issues With Peter Obi, Says Uzodinma
Ahead of the 2023 general election, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, on Tuesday, said that he doesn’t want to join issue with the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, insisting that his business is to market the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the South East.
Uzodinma stated this during an interview with Channels TV’s Politics Today.
He noted that there are many loyal members of the APC in the South East who are ‘obedient’ to the party.
Uzodinma said, “I am a politician and my party is APC and I have my candidate in the party. And I know we are consulting and speaking to our people to vote for our candidate.
“I am concerned with campaigning for my party. I don’t want to join issues with Peter Obi, whom you know is not a member of my party. But I know members of APC are obedient to APC.”
The governor added, “I am very confident that the reasonable minds in Imo State will vote for my party. In 2021, I came here as a governor, 99% of our major roads were not passable. Today the major economic roads in Imo State have been managed in a very first-class manner that even the opposition party members are commending my effort.
“From 1999 to date, the members of Imo House of Assembly have no place in the state to sit. They were attached to one local government secretariat here in Owerri. The Imo House of Assembly building that was abandoned for many years has just been rehabilitated.”
267 total views, 267 views today
ASUU-FG Meeting Ends In Deadlock, Strike To Continue
Tuesday’s meeting between the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government has again ended without an agreement.
This means the six-month old strike by public university lecturers is set to continue.
The striking lecturers had met with the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee on Tuesday at the National University Commission in Abuja with high hopes of resolving the impasse.
A senior member of ASUU, who craved anonymity told Channels Television that members of the Briggs renegotiation committee did not come with any new offer on the table.
Instead, the ASUU source said, the committee plead with the lecturers to suspend the ongoing strike, with promises that their concerns will be included in the 2023 budget.
According to the source, the meeting, which started at about 12pm, lasted for about three hours without any agreement reached.
ASUU embarked on a four-week warning strike on February 14.
On March 14, the union extended the industrial action by another two months to allow the government meet all of its demands. A 12-week extension was announced on May 9.
Since May 9, the union has remained on strike, vowing to persist until its demands are met.
The academics are seeking improved welfare, revitalisation of public universities and academic autonomy among other demands.
One bone of contention for the academics is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which amounts to about N1.1 trillion.
But the Federal Government has said it doesn’t have the money to pay such an amount, citing low oil prices during the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The agreement was struck in 2009.
Another is the issue of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The academics have proposed an alternative payroll system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
1,191 total views, 1,063 views today
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