By Orjime Moses, Abuja
The coalition of civil society organization under aegis of Centrum Initiative Development and Fundamental Rights Advocacy has appealed to the Federal Government of Nigeria to reconsidered the fundamental Rights of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) as stated in chapter 4 of the 1999 constitution as amended.
The group in it joint statement signed by its following members; Dr Hassan Bala, Geoffrey N Nwokolo Esq, Prince Adelaje Adeoye, Comrade Ecoja Godwin, Dr YB Abubakar, Com Mabel Christiana Abba, said the Army Officers,Other perpetrators of Shia Massacre in Nigeria Risk Death Penalty, Life imprisonment.
Noting that the Nigerian constitution has never been silent on outlining the fundamental human rights of its citizens as enshrined in chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
According to them the Constitution in respect to these rights states that “Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria (Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution).”
“On July 4, 2020, the Coalition of Civil Society Organization under the Centrum Initiative for Development and Fundamental Rights Advocacy held a press conference on ‘Insecurity and violations of Fundamental Human Rights in Nigeria’ where the gross violation of the fundamental human rights was that of the Nigerian Shia Muslims under the leadership of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky which include ; Murder , destruction of properties and unconstitutional arrests were identified.
“Between 12 – 14th December , 2015 , the Nigerian Army burnt alive, maimed ,raped, demolished homes and buried hundreds of male and female of the Nigerian Shia Muslims in a mass grave in Kaduna state (Mando). These crimes committed against the Shia minority can never be forgotten in our strive for the desired Human Rights to be shaped within th Nigerian democratic system.
“The ill treatments of members of this religious minority group and their leader Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat that are kept in custody incommunicado with severe bullet wounds all over their bodies in continuous disregard and contempt of an Abuja High Court order to release them and pay them the sum of 50 million Naira as compensation as fully documented.
“Murder, Extermination,Enslavement, Deportation or Forcible transfer of population,Imprisonment and other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of Customary rules of international law, Anti Torture Act of 2017, which prohibit all sort of torture and Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious are indeed a crimes against humanity,” they added.
They further stated that base on the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Approved and proposed for signature and ratification or accession by General Assembly resolution 260 A (III) of 9 December 1948 – Entry into force: 12 January 1951, in accordance with article XIII , the following Articles I – IV states that:
The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.
“In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
Killing members of the group;
Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
The group said any persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.