Tuesday , 18 December 2018
Home / Opinion / MISSING GENERAL: HURIWA CAUTIONS ARMY AGAINST LYNCH MOB JUSTICE:

MISSING GENERAL: HURIWA CAUTIONS ARMY AGAINST LYNCH MOB JUSTICE:

*CONDEMNS POLICE TEARGASSING OF PDP PROTESTERS:

A prominent Non Governmental organisation- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has urged the hierarchy of the Nigerian Army to stop further use of lynch mob justice in the search for the suspected whereabouts of the missing Army General Muhammed Alkali, a retired Major General.
HURIWA accused the Army of been biased and unprofessional by rounding up common villagers and parading them as common criminals even as the armed Fulani killer gangs are operating freely. “As much as we support the enforcement of the due process of the law leading to the arrest and prosecution of the persons involved in the alleged disappearance of the retired General Muhammad Alkali, we don’t support the ongoing demonization of an entire community as if it is a community of criminals. We asked that the best global practices be adopted in searching for the right accused persons and for tge innocent villagers not to be subjected to horrendous lynch mob justice because of their association with the community in which the Army thinks their erstwhile officer purportedly disappeared. The principle of rule of law must be respected”.
HURIWA recalled that Major General Muhammed Alkali was declared missing on September 3rd this year whilst reportedly driving to Bauchi State from Abuja.
In another development, the Rights group also called for the dismissal of the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idriss Kpodum for serial indiscretions including the brutal attacks of civil rights of demonstrators who had gone to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  to protest the alleged manipulation of the recently held controversial run-off election in Osun which produced the All Progressives Congress as winner of the governorship after coming a close second to the PDP candidate in the initial state wide poll.
“We condemn the naked partisanship of the IGP who has over time showed that he is not a professionally competent, fit and proper person to head the Nigeria police force especially at this crucial time of elections and campaign activities. The act of throwing teargass canisters at the protesting members of the opposition PDP including the Senate President Dr Olusola Saraki, Senators Dino Melaye, Ben Murray Bruce and Governors Waziri Tambuwal and the national executive committee officials of the opposition PDP is a violation of section 34(1)(a) which prohibits absolutely the use of physical torture against citizens. The Chapter four of the Constitution has guaranteed the Nigerian people all the fundamental human rights as recognised by all international statutes and humanitarian laws including Freedom of movements, freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to civil protest which is pivotal to the existence of constitutional democracy. We condemn the use of primitive force of violence by the Ibrahim Kpodum Idriss led police against these distinguished Nigerians who were simply exercising their rights as citizens. The best thing is to drop this politically tained IGP so a thoroughbred professionally competent and non partisan officer is appointed to head tge NPF. As it is, this leadership of the police will cause widespread unrests and active armed resistance if the organisation is left in the hands of this politically corrupt boss during this most critical election which is a make or mar election for Nigeria as a political entity”.
HURIWA recalled that the Army confirmed the arrest of 30 suspects in a community in Plateau State in connection with the disappearance of Major General Muhammed Alkali just as the Doi Du District of Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State has come under tremendous military blockade and mass arrests. The Rights group described this method of mass arrests as lynch mob justice which is totally antithetical to constitutional democracy.
Relatedly, HURIWA recalled that the Nigerian army troops of the Special Task Force, Operation Safe Haven have reportedly arrested at least 72 suspects in connection to the recent violence in Plateau State. The group expressed worry that the fundamental human rights of these suspects might be violated even as it has charged the Chief of Army staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai to adhere strictly to all the relevant constitutional provisions on the handling of criminal matters as stipulated clearly by the Constitution which is a supreme and binding law. 

HURIWA criticised what it called the hasty parade of the suspects who were paraded at the headquarters of the Operation Safe Haven in the state capital on Thursday by the commander of the task force, Major General Augustine Agundu even before they are allowed to be represented by their respective lawyers.

HURIWA quoted Major General Agundu as affirming thus: “We arrested a total of 72 youths who have been profiled according to their level of culpability and those that were not found to be entirely involved have been released and we present to you some other youths, a total of 30 who were arrested for various offences and they’ve all confessed to having taken part”.
HURIWA however expressed consternation that the Army seems not to have seriously carried out a surgical and evidence based military operations to track down the armed Fulani killer gangs who are still carrying out various acts of bloodcuddling violence on some communities in Plateau State but is alleged to have embarked on large scale arrest of civilians in the community whereby the car in which the retired General was travelling in was discovered in a pond.
HURIWA which condemned the parade of the suspects picked up randomly from the Du community for alleged involvement in the reported disappearance of the Major General Muhammed Alkali has asked that the constitutional rights of all the suspects must be guaranteed even as the Rights group reminds the Army that the persons been paraded and subjected to media trials are innocent in the eye of the law in line with section 36 of the Constitution of the Fexeral Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended).
Specifically, Section 36 (1) provides that: “in the determination of his civil rights and obligations, including any question or determination by or against any government or authority, a person SHALL be entitled to a fair hearing within reasonable time by a court or trubunal established by law and constituted in such a manner as to secure its independence and impartiality”. Section 36(5) provides that: “Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty”.

AmarSim Associations Development Consultants

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