Vexed by the failure of the United Nations to monitor the serial Human Rights violations by Soldiers and armed Police in the South East of Nigeria, the Prominent Civil Rights Group:- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) is mobilizing all affiliate bodies to specifically write again to the World leaders to ask them to call the Nigerian President to order.
Relatedly, the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has told the Rivers State governor Mr. Nyesom Wike that his power drunkenness that led him into threatening to carry out extralegal killings of members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB ) will be challenged before the International Criminal Court in The Hague Netherlands if he carries through his primitive and unconstitutional threat.
HURIWA said it was making her observation based on the unambiguous empirical evidence it gathered on ground from the South East of Nigeria indicating that military and Police operative have said that the President and the Commander -in-chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces president Muhammadu Buhari has abrogated the chapter four of the constitution of the Federal Republic relying upon nebulous and unconstitutional proddings of some lawyers working for him including his justice minister and the minister of state for labour Mr. Festus Kayamo amongst others.
“We have it on record from some of the Soldiers on patrol in South East of Nigeria that they have been licenced to kill and to flout at will all the fundamental Human Rights provisions contained in the Constitution just so they can restore what they called a quick end to the rising clamour by the indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) for self government for the peoples of the South East of Nigeria”.
“We have monitored the daily use of torture such as psychological, emotional torture by Soldier, Police fully armed and patrolling the streets of South East of Nigeria with many mounting road blocks during which time commuters and citizens are made to walk past such military checks as if they are newly purchased slaves.
This is torture which is absolutely prohibited by the Constitution in section 34 (1) (a) (b) and (C) of the Nigerian constitution. 34.(1) states that: “Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly -(a) no person shall be subject to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment;
(b) no person shall he held in slavery or servitude; and
(c) no person shall be required to perform forced of compulsory labour.”
HURIWA submits that section 305 of the Constitution that made provisions for miscellaneous items in the Grund Norm under the part II of the Constitution that specifies measures to be adopted under State of emergency, does not permit the suspension of Chapter 4 of the Constitution going by the fact that section 315 (1) recognizes the powers of the court of law to adjudicate on any matter which essentially dovetails into legal challenges about violations of Human Rights laws.
The Rights group said that Section 305 (1) says : “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the President may by instrument published in the Official – Gazette} of the Government of the Federation issue a Proclamation of a state of emergency in the Federation or any part thereof.” Whilst section 315 (3) stated as follows: Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed as affecting the power of a court of law or any tribunal established by law to declare invalid any provision of an existing law on the ground of inconsistency with the provision of any other law, that is to say- (a) any other existing law; (b) a Law of a House of Assembly; (c) an Act of the National Assembly; or (d) any provision of this Constitution.”
“It is the considered opinion of HURIWA that so long as the President and all office holders derive their powers and functions from the Constitution, they do not have any power to substitute or abrogate any of the provisions contained in the constitution in line with due process just as the group said the President has no such powers contained in section 9 of the Constitution which empowers the National Assembly to amend or alter any provisions of the Constitution which is the sole prerogative of the legislative arm of government empowered under section 4 of the Nigerian Constitution.
HURIWA has also asked the military operatives in Internal Military operation in the South East of Nigeria to comply with the provisions of chapter 4 of the Nigerian Constitution which are the fundamental Rights of Nigerians because no authority in Nigeria has the power to disobey the Constitution as provided for in 1(1) which state thus “This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on the authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“We urge the military authority to call their ground forces in the South East of Nigeria to order because the way these operatives are going about flagrantly violating the Civil Rights of peace loving citizens under the guise of attempting to crush the so-called insurrection of indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) is unlawful, unconstitutional and the violators are not above international Human Rights laws and SHALL IN FULLNESS OF TIME BE PROSECUTED IN THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT IN THE HAGUE NETHERLANDS FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY “.
HURIWA said it has written the Chief of Army Staff to ask him to compel his operatives to respect the Rules of engagement in Internal Military operation because: “The Nigerian Armed Forces when deployed for either internal or external operations, are bound by the laws of war and international law in the conduct of the operations. The laws regulate and limit the conduct of operations by acting as checks against arbitrary use of force. They are intended to minimize unnecessary suffering by combatants and non- combatants during war. The laws of war and international law are therefore sources of military law in Nigeria and include the following: a. The four Geneva Conventions of 1949.
b. The two Additional Protocols of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
c. Multilateral and bilateral agreements to which Nigeria is a signatory and have bearing on military service or operations.
d. The decisions of:
1. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague.
2. Ad hoc war crimes tribunals set up by or with the backing of the UN Security Council.
(3) The International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague.
The four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 for the protection of war victims are as follows:
a. Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field.
b. Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked
members of Armed Forces at Sea.
c. Geneva Convention Relative to the
Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of war.
d. Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of
HURIWA carpeted Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State for threatening to kill members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and bury them like vultures.
HURIWA recalled that Wike said this on Tuesday during the commissioning of construction work at the Ahoada Campus of the Rivers State University and the dualisation of the Ahoada-Omoku Road in Ahoada Town.
Addressing the crowd, the Governor warned the youths to repent and shun all forms of criminality, threatening that his administration will kill those that fail to repent and bury them without the knowledge of their families.
The Rivers State governor said: “So, when people say, ‘IPOB, they’re carrying ‘Juju’, I say no problem. What’s happening, are they not dying? Let nobody deceive you with that juju. Don’t ever you! So, today, those of you criminals that are here…all of you criminals that are here, say ‘today, 2nd May, 2021, I repent.’If you don’t repent, your funeral has come. You’ll die, your parents will not bury you. We’ll bury you like vultures. Either your hands will be cut off or we’ll blow your head off.“You parents will not even know that you’re dead. We’ll not even tell your parents that you’re dead. No armed robber has parents. Nobody should because of what you are doing in Ahoada, challenging people, killing them, you go on the water, bonkeries killing people and you think you’ll go free? You’ll never ever go free. So all of you looking at me as if you are my supporter, carry your support and go!”
HURIWA has therefore threatened to report the Rivers State governor before the International Criminal Court in The Hague Netherlands for threatening to deploy extralegal killings of citizens of Nigeria only because they agitate for self determination which is a part of the international legal instruments.